Antenna design and integration for NiceCube nano-satellite

Master level student

Starting date:
From 1st of February 2020

5 to 6 months

Team(s): CMA

Contact(s) :
Fabien Ferrero (Fabien.FERRERO at
Robert STARAJ (robert.staraj at

LEAT, Campus SophiaTech, Bâtiment Forum, 930 Route des Colles, 06903 Sophia Antipolis

Around 550€/month depending on administrative rules

CSU Côte d’Azur ( Centre Spatial Universitaire de la Côte d’Azur) allows student to work on the development of a sub-system of a NiceCube project (terrestrial or spatial part). The scientific goal of the satellite will be the study of atmospheric perturbation and to study optical communication using backscattering.

Satellite dimensions will be 2U (1 U is 10 cm x 10 cm x 11 cm volume) and weight is typically less than few kg which imply very challenging design requirements especially for RF systems. Antennas are required for TTC (Telemetry, Tracking and Control) functions or data communications. The TTC function requires a robust low bit rate radio link established between the CS and the ground station (GS) which should be effective even in a worst-case scenario (low DC power or satellite mis-orientation). Thus, the 433MHz frequency bands are preferred thanks to the good propagation properties between the GS and CS.

In order to enable higher data rate communication, a second wireless link will be integrated at 2.4GHz.

Internship objective are:

  • State of the art on CubeSat antenna
  • Review previous internship project based on 433MHz and 2.4GHz antenna
  • Propose integrated antenna topology for 2U cubesat
  • Design and simulate different concept to maximize antenna performance
  • Prototype and measure antenna concepts

Student will work on the different part using the resource available in the lab (simulation software, anechoic chamber).

Required skills:

  • EM modelling using 3D EM software (HFSS, CST, …)
  • Antenna design & measurement. Antenna integration in vehicular structure is an asset.
  • Basic knowledge on Radiofrequency system for long range wireless communication, transceiver, SDR radio, filter,
  • Programming (Python, Matlab, … )
  • Ability to integrate and adapt, and team spirit

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