3rd Place DLR Space Administration Challenge

SUMSENS – Structure-Borne Ultrasonic Multi-Hop Sensor Network for the Temperature Monitoring of Satellites

The mechanical and thermal integrity of spacecraft will be crucial for future space missions lasting months, years, or even longer. Traditionally, wired sensors are used to measure all relevant parameters. SUMSENS offers the integration of a holistic wireless sensor network using the satellite structure itself for communication, in order to provide in-situ monitoring of the mechanical and thermal subsystem status. The SUMSENS sensor network consists of smart temperature sensor nodes, communicating among themselves via structure-borne ultrasonic waves. The core of each sensor node is a microcontroller platform providing all required data operations. SUMSENS integrates Augmented Reality (AR) to support visual system integration, monitoring and maintenance. The technology can be transferred from space to ground transportation.


  • Wireless sensor network instead of heavy, space-consuming network infrastructure consisting of cable clutter
  • Cost reduction due to flexible installation, easy expandability, low energy consumption and reduction of communication traffic
  • Reliable, fail-safe network architectures
  • Modularity, allowing flexible installation
  • High-level structural integration


Fraunhofer LBF
Darmstadt, Deutschland
Dr Torsten Bartel

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