Radiation Hardness Assurance


PRETTY CubeSat - Prepared for Launch

Heinrich Fragner1, Andreas Dielacher1, Michael Moser-Moritsch1, P. Beck2, C. Tscherne2, M. Wind2, L. Huber2, M. Wenger3, A. Hörmer3

1 Beyond Gravity Austria GmbH, Stachegasse 13, 1120 Vienna
2 Seibersdorf Laboratories, 2444 Seibersdorf, Austria
3 Graz University of Technology, Inffeldgasse 12, 8010 Graz, Austria



The ESA In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) mission PRETTY is a 3U CubeSat mission planned and implemented by a consortium of Beyond Gravity Austria GmbH, Graz University of Technology and Seibersdorf Laboratories. It hosts two payloads: The primary payload is a passive reflectometer receiving the reflected GNSS signals from the Earth’s surface. This instrument evaluates the signal waveform and measures the path delay of the reflected signals in order to obtain altimetry and surface condition data. The secondary payload is a dosimeter for electronics featuring two different sensor types for total ionizing dose (TID) assessment with high durability and with high resolution. Both instruments have recently been improved by the payload responsibles with significant effort to increase the scientific value of the PRETTY mission. Seibersdorf Laboratories is responsible for the dosimeter and has added the capability to measure single event upset (SEU) rates within their instrument.

Beyond Gravity Austria GmbH has modified the observation frequency from L1 to L5 band. According to newest findings the L5 band allows to implement significantly increased coherent integration times. Furthermore, the passive reflectometer now also supports Galileo signals.
Graz University of Technology is currently performing the integration of the complete spacecraft and ground segment. The task to host two complex payloads, one with high data rate demands, the need for high accuracy pointing and agile platform pointing into a complete working system is often challenged by technical, administrative and financial limitations. Thanks to an experienced team with excellent know-how and endless motivation, all challenges that occurred up to now have been resolved together with the prime contractor.
Within this presentation we will focus on the latest introduced modifications of the two instruments as well as on some of the challenges during the overall mission design and implementation.



[1]     Fragner, H.; Dielacher, A.; Moritsch, M.; Zangerl, F.; Beck, P.; Koudelka, O.; Hoeg, P.; Wickert, J.; Cardellach, E.; Wenger, M.; Hormer, A.; Zeif, R.; Teschl, F.; Martin-Neira, M.; Semmlinge, M.; Walker, R; Recycling GPS signals and radiation monitoring: The two payloads on board of PRETTY Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 11131, 111310J; DOI: 10.1117/12.2530806



The authors want to thank the European Space Agency (ESA) as well as the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).