P20151: Satellite Localization


Project Summary Project Information

Since the year 2000, there have been approximately 291 CubeSat missions led by universities [1]. RIT SPEX has been working on developing their own CubeSat mission for the past 3 years, focusing on innovations in solar sail technology. Every satellite needs the means to operate and fly it and RIT does not currently have such a ground station. Last year, students began creating a ground station specifically for collecting NOAA downlinks (~144 MHz) for a specific class.

The scope of this project is to create a new ground station, LASSO (Localize Attribute SatelliteS in Orbit), capable of tracking and obtaining downlinks around the ~437 MHz band, one of the most common bands used by CubeSats. LASSO will utilize Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) from multiple antennas to localize the source of a satellite signal, both reducing noise in data transmissions and enabling orbit determination. Orbit determination capability brings RIT one step closer to flying their own satellite. Commanding a large field of view of the sky, LASSO is able to categorize unknown signals after detection by comparing its own orbit calculation with the numerous public online catalogs. LASSO also enables new research and educational opportunities ranging from real data examples in classes for signal processing and orbital mechanics to collecting sensor data, collected from space objects.

LASSO uses TDOA for its mechanical simplicity and emphasis on software. Team members plan on utilizing open source and custom software to lower the project expenses. LASSO is the beginning of RIT’s ground station and new features are expected to be added by future MSD projects so that RIT is ready to run satellite operations when it sends its first CubeSat to space.

For all files that pertain to LASSO, see the directory structure.

A summary of the project can be found in the Project Readiness Package.

[1] https://sites.google.com/a/slu.edu/swartwout/home/cubesat-database

Read Me First

Project Name
LASSO Localize Attribute SatelliteS in Orbit
Project Number
Project Family
continuation of P19151
Start Term
2191 (Fall 2019)
End Term
2195 (Spring 2020)
Faculty Guide
Martin Pepe, mxpddm@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Russell Jost, rwjiee@rit.edu
Sponsor (financial support)
L3Harris Space Systems Division

Team Members

From the Left: Zachary Grguras, Matthew Truong, Martin Pepe (guide), Zoe-Jerusha Beepat, Anthony Iannuzzi, Ignazio Scollo, Connor Lowery, Andrew deVries

From the Left: Zachary Grguras, Matthew Truong, Martin Pepe (guide), Zoe-Jerusha Beepat, Anthony Iannuzzi, Ignazio Scollo, Connor Lowery, Andrew deVries

Name Role Contact Resume Bio
Anthony Iannuzzi Project Manager mailto:awi7573@rit.edu Resume Bio
Ignazio Scollo Lead Engineer mailto:Ils5482@rit.edu Resume Bio
Zachary Grguras Communicator mailto:zjg8144@rit.edu Resume Bio
Andrew deVries Scheduling mailto:ard6268@rit.edu Resume Bio
Matthew Truong Editor mailto:mxt1172@rit.edu Resume Bio
Zoe-Jerusha Beepat Purchasing mailto:zeb6290@rit.edu Resume Bio
Connor Lowery Facilitator mailto:cjl4453@rit.edu Resume Bio

Team Contact List: Team Contact List (Excel)

Work Breakdown: By Phase


Planning & Execution

Gate Reviews

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation (Verification & Validation)

Work Breakdown: By Topic

Project Management Design Tools Design Documentation Implementation Validation Presentation & Dissemination



Contact List



Risk Management

Problem Management

Communication and Minutes

Use Cases


Functional Decomposition

Morphological Chart

Pugh Concept Selection


Box Redesign

Software Diagrams

Best Triangle

User Manual

Box Current State


Test Plan

TDoA Simulations

Test Results

Design Review Documents

Technical Paper


Imagine RIT Exhibit

Lightning Talk


Thank you to Marty Pepe, Russell Jost, Jim Stefano, and Mihail Barbosu for their advice and input for our problem definition during Phase I.

Thank you to our subject matter experts who have helped us with our analysis during Phase II- IV: Dr. Venkataraman, Dr. Kwasinski, Dr. Markopoulos, Dan Harris, Dr. Gomes, Jim Stefano.

We want to especially acknowledge Joanne Vadala and Diana Solt for facilitating the discussion with L3Harris. Again, huge thanks to L3Harris for sponsoring this project and seeing the potential of our vision. We sincerely appreciate your support.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.