Satellite Communication

Since 2010 the institute of high frequency technology is involved in satellite communication. The projects and research avtivities are related to geostationary payloads, cube sats, large deployable antennas and ground stations.


The cluster funded undertaking GeReLEO-SMART contains the development an qualification of a payload for geostationary satellites. Besides of novelty of the system concept itself the GeReLEO multibeam antenna system is based on multiple innovations:

  • RF-MEMS technology to build up a switching network
  • Use of a PCB technologie based on polymer soft-substrates to realize a planar mutli-feed array
  • Integration  of discrete active and passive components and chips in a layer stackup of the planar multi-feed array PCB
  • Development of small bandwidth LNAs (bandwidth about 1...1,5 GHz) to minimize the noice figure
  • Use of a reconfigable FPGA-based control of LNAs and MEMS to minimize the electric power consumption.

Further Information can be found on the project website

Deployable Reflector Antennas

Based on the student project SpaceSailors we are researching on the topic of lightweight and cheap reflector antennas. The purpose is to depoly a metallized membrane in space using a the proved SpaceSailors deployment mechanism. This membran will be used as a parabolic reflector antenna.



Im Jahr 2014 lief unter dem Namen "SMERALDA: Große Entfaltantennen: Technische Machbarkeit, Bedarf und Umsetzungskonzepte für wissenschaftliche Missionen" eine Studie, in der Zusammen mit einer Vielzahl an Partnern aus dem Umfeld der kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen der deutschen Raumfahrtindustrie. Gefördert wurde die Studie vom DLR unter dem Förderkennzeichen 50 RM 1320.



In cooperation with Aachen University of Applied Sciences the IHF is building the DragSail Cubesat. The purpose of this mission is the in-orbit demonstration of a deployable drag sail to deorbit satellites and thin-film solar cells. The IHF is responsible for the communication systems on board the satellite and for the hardware and software of the ground station. As a new technology in comparation to other cubesat missions the DragSail Cubesat will use modern methods of channel coding in the radio transmission. This leads to a significant increase in user data rate. The launch of the satellite is scheduled for summer 2016.