Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Ali Abedi

Second Committee Member

Richard Eason

Third Committee Member

Nuri Emanetoglu


MESAT1 is a CubeSat that was proposed by the University of Maine in response to NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, and in early 2020 was selected by NASA to be launched into a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in June of 2022. The satellite will carry four low-cost complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) cameras which serve as sensing instruments for three science missions proposed by K-12 schools in Maine. The cameras will periodically take pictures of Earth to analyze water turbidity, identify urban heat islands, and predict harmful algal blooms. The multi-spectral image data is packed into frames and downlinked as Binary Phase-Shift Keying (BPSK) digital data at a rate of 1200 bits per second using a 100 mW Ultra High Frequency (UHF) transmitter. A ground station is required to receive the data and control the satellite via uplink commands using a Very High Frequency (VHF) radio. A UHF and a VHF antenna are required to interface with the spacecraft radio and allow for transmission and reception of signals. To fulfill these requirements, a ground station was built on the University of Maine Orono campus that allows for communication with the MESAT1 spacecraft at low elevation angles. Two quarter-wavelength monopoles were designed with relatively isotropic radiation patterns and low mismatch losses at the command uplink (VHF) and telemetry frequencies (UHF). This thesis covers the design, implementation, and test of the ground station and antennae.

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