UWB for Space Applications

Communications and Localization

UWB (Ultra Wide Band) is a radio communication technique which uses very narrow impulses for encoding the information. Current commercial UWB transceivers use an impulse duration of 1ns to 2ns. As a result, the spectral power is distributed over a much wider frequency spectrum as compared to NB (Narrow Band) transmissions, as is shown in Figure 1. More precisely, the occupied bandwidth is 500MHz for 2ns impulses and approximately 1GHz for 1ns impulses.

UWB vs NB Spectral Power Density

Within the space industry, data transmission onboard satellites is typically implemented using wired systems and bus type deterministic protocols such as MIL-STD-1553 or SpaceWire. Wireless communications, which include radio communications used in WSN, are something new and they require a different approach for the design execution, testing and operation of the satellites. Nevertheless, the advantages that WSN bring are significant and they justify the efforts required by their adoption.