CubeSat Array for Detection of RF Emissions from Exoplanets using Inter-Satellite Optical Communicators

M. de Kok, Jose Velazco (Supervisor), Mark J. Bentum (Supervisor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We are presenting a CubeSat mission concept wherein a large number of small spacecraft furnished with Ultra-Long Wavelength (ULW) observation antennas is to be implemented to synthesize a large aperture for detecting ULW emissions from selected Exoplanets. The CubeSat Array for the Detection of RF Emissions from Exoplanets (CADRE) concept involves the placement of a swarm arrangement of CubeSats into small-amplitude Lissajous orbits around the Earth-Moon L2 point. In addition to the ULW receivers, each CADRE CubeSat will be furnished with a novel omnidirectional optical communicator [1] which should allow data sharing at gigabit per second data rates. In this paper we discuss the science goals, potential architecture and key technical challenges of an eventual CADRE implementation. We present the estimated interferometer specifications needed to detect Exoplanet RF emissions, CubeSat orbits and formations as well as CubeSat design considerations. Special focus is placed on the design of the mission-enabling inter-CubeSat optical crosslink which allows for fast sharing of the detected RF signals for subsequent correlation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Place of PublicationBig Sky, MT, USA
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-2734-7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1095-323X


  • CubeSat
  • Radio Astronomy


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