A small dictionary for some of the technical terms used on this website.
The words are presented in alphabetical order.

  • A/D converter (Analogue to digital converter): A device that converts analogue signals into digital signals. (D/A converter: Digital to analogue)
  • Artificial intelligence: The behaviour of a computersystem using artificial neural networks .
  • Artificial neural networks: Common name for a large number of computer intelligence algorithms that has originated from the behaviour of the learning processes in the brain.
  • Attitude: The orientation of an aircraft or spacecraft in relation to a given coordinate system.
  • Aurora: Charged particles are during certain circumstances colliding with particles in our atmosphere. In the collision, the particles in our atmosphere that are hit, will absorb the energy from the collision, and emits this energy in the form of light (polar light).
  • CCD camera: Digital camera that is registrating the image with a CCD-chip (Charged Coupled Devices - a semiconductor)
  • DPU - Data Processing Unit: Unit for processing data. Handles every action onboard the satellite.
  • EEPROM: Electrical EPROM .
  • EPROM: Erasable PROM .
  • FIFO (First in - first out): A type of temporary memory. The information that first enters the memory is the first to be available on the output.
  • Frequency Shift Keying (FSK): A signal modulation method where the information transmitted is described by shifts in frequency of a carrier signal.
  • GaAs/Ge: Gallium-arsenid/germanium.
  • GPS (Global positioning system): A satellite based system for positioning.
  • Kevlar: A very strong fiber product e.g. used in bullet proof vests.
  • Microsatellite: Satellite with a mass of 10-100 kg.
  • Nanosatellite: Satellite with a mass less than 10 kg.
  • Nutation: Disturbances of the satellites attitude .
  • Particle spectrometer: An instrument used for measuring the energy distribution of charged particles.
  • PLD (programmable logic devices):
  • PROM: Programmable ROM .
  • Pseudo-noise Scrambling (PN-scrambling): An efficent method to code data for transmission over noisy channels. Works well together with FSK modulation.
  • Pseudo-noise scrambled frequency shift keying method: See Frequency Shift Keying and Pseudo-noise Scrambling (PN-scrambling)
  • Pyro-guiliotine: A device consisting of a small explosive and a cutter. When the explosive is fired, the cutter "shots" away to cut off e.g. a string of some fabric.
  • Radio modem (MOdulation/DEModulator): Modem that converts datasignals to radiosignals and radiosignals to datasignals.
  • ROM (Read-only memory): A type of memory that can't be erased or updated. E.g.: CD-ROM or ROM BIOS on computers.
  • Separation system: System to separate the satellite from the launcher when the satellite is to be inserted into orbit.
  • SNR (signal/noise ratio): The difference between the signal and the noise. Usually expressed in dB.
  • Solid state detector: Detector consisting only of semiconductors.
  • Torque: Force, working on a body with the result that the body is "turned" or "twisted".
  • Transceiver: A device that can both transmit and receive signals.
  • UHF-band: Ultra-high frequency: 300 MHz to 3 GHz (3000 MHz).
  • Viscous damper: A device for dampening oscillations through frictional forces inside a tube.

Miralite Glossary of Satellite Terms might also help you...

If there are any technical terms that causes confusion, or if you have any questions about the project, please feel free to mail me at:


IRF - RYP - SwRI - Luth