Nano-Satellites – a GNSS Payload for Orbit Determination and Timing


In the last years, there has been an enormous increase in the number of nano satellites launched into space and constellations of thousands of such satellites is foreseen in the near future. At ETH Zurich, together with Swiss part- ners, we developed a very small, low-power multi-GNSS payload capable of precise orbit determination and timing onboard even the smallest satellites. On December 3, 2018, and April 1, 2019, the first two 3-unit cube satellites of the Swiss company Astrocast carrying our GNSS payload were launched. We will demonstrate the accuracy of the orbit determination and timing performed in real-time onboard the two satellites using GPS as well as Galileo. A first valida- tion of the orbit accuracy we can reach has already been achieved by shooting with laser pulses from the Zimmer- wald.observatory to the tiny retro-reflectors mounted on both satellites. 

  Date and Time




  • ETH Zürich
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Switzerland
  • Building: HG
  • Room Number: HG D1.1
  • Co-sponsored by ION-CH


Prof. Markus Rothacher of IGP ETH Zürich


Markus Rothacher is professor of Mathematical and Physical Geodesy at ETH Zurich. He got is diploma and PhD in Astronomy from the University of Berne. He worked at TU Munich and the Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) in Potsdam.

Address:IGP ETH Zürich, , Zurich, Switzerland, Switzerland