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A GMSK VHF-uplink/UHF-downlink transceiver for the CubeSat missions: Thermo-functional performance

Zaidi, Yaseen; van Zyl, Robert Ryk; Fitz-Coy, Norman G


Yaseen Zaidi
Senior Lecturer in Systems Engineering

Robert Ryk van Zyl

Norman G Fitz-Coy


© 2018, CEAS. Functional and thermal performance characteristics of a very high frequency/ultra high frequency (VHF/UHF) transceiver based on Gaussian minimum shift keying (GMSK) modulation are presented. The transceiver has been designed for CubeSats telemetry and commanding needs or low rate data download. The design is validated at 27 dBm, 30 dBm and 33 dBm transmitting powers over −20 ∘C to +51 ∘C. Under these thermal conditions, the transmitter spurious dynamic response shows little if any change and the average sensitivity of receiver at the 12 dB signal noise and distortion (SINAD) is −116.7 dBm at 140 MHz and −116.78 dBm at 149.98 MHz. The transmitter and receiver frequencies are stable and the current consumption as well the output RF levels are steady. The design has been verified against a simulation model which allows system tradeoff analysis. The measurements demonstrate the transceiver made with commercial grade parts has dependable performance at the low earth altitudes and orbital heating conditions.


Zaidi, Y., van Zyl, R. R., & Fitz-Coy, N. G. (2018). A GMSK VHF-uplink/UHF-downlink transceiver for the CubeSat missions: Thermo-functional performance. CEAS Space Journal, 10(3), 453-467.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 27, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 2, 2018
Publication Date Sep 1, 2018
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2019
Journal CEAS Space Journal
Print ISSN 1868-2502
Electronic ISSN 1868-2510
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 3
Pages 453-467
Keywords CubeSat; GMSK; SFDR; SINAD; Thermal; UHF and VHF
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via


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