State-of-the-art: GNSS receivers for CubeSats

Over the years, CubeSats have rapidly evolved and expanded their applications from being solely tools for education, to becoming a common platform used for technology demonstrations, Earth imaging, scientific instruments and communication platforms. Although GNSS receivers have long been installed onboard larger satellites, their use in CubeSats has been limited.

The high cost of most space-qualified GNSS receivers, and the inadequate availability and supply of GNSS receivers for CubeSats are two of the main reasons behind this. Additionally, embedding GNSS receivers on smaller satellites is far more challenging due to restrictions in size, weight, power and cost, as well as different on-board computing and communication limits. The use of GNSS however, is vital for most satellite missions and is becoming increasingly relevant for CubeSats.

GNSS use cases in CubeSats

In this study, Novaspace assessed the state-of-the-art of space-borne GNSS receivers for CubeSats, forecasting future GNSS penetration and analysing the GNSS receiver landscape in Europe in terms of producers, products and users.

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