Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

CubeSat Related Abstracts

4 Thermal Vacuum Chamber Test Result for CubeSat Transmitter

Authors: Fitri D. Jaswar, Tharek A. Rahman, Yasser A. Ahmad

Abstract:

CubeSat in low earth orbit (LEO) mainly uses ultra high frequency (UHF) transmitter with fixed radio frequency (RF) output power to download the telemetry and the payload data. The transmitter consumes large amount of electrical energy during the transmission considering the limited satellite size of a CubeSat. A transmitter with power control ability is designed to achieve optimize the signal to noise ratio (SNR) and efficient power consumption. In this paper, the thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC) test is performed to validate the performance of the UHF band transmitter with power control capability. The TVAC is used to simulate the satellite condition in the outer space environment. The TVAC test was conducted at the Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan. The TVAC test used 4 thermal cycles starting from +60°C to -20°C for the temperature setting. The pressure condition inside chamber was less than 10-5Pa. During the test, the UHF transmitter is integrated in a CubeSat configuration with other CubeSat subsystem such as on board computer (OBC), power module, and satellite structure. The system is validated and verified through its performance in terms of its frequency stability and the RF output power. The UHF band transmitter output power is tested from 0.5W to 2W according the satellite mode of operations and the satellite power limitations. The frequency stability is measured and the performance obtained is less than 2 ppm in the tested operating temperature range. The test demonstrates the RF output power is adjustable in a thermal vacuum condition.

Keywords: Communication System, SNR, CubeSat, UHF transmitter

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3 Field-Programmable Gate Array-Based Baseband Signals Generator of X-Band Transmitter for Micro Satellite/CubeSat

Authors: Chieh-Fu Chang, Shih-Ming Wang, Chun-Kai Yeh, Ming-Hwang Shie, Tai-Wei Lin

Abstract:

This paper introduces a FPGA-based baseband signals generator (BSG) of X-band transmitter developed by National Space Organization (NSPO), Taiwan, for earth observation. In order to gain more flexibility for various applications, a number of modulation schemes, QPSK, DeQPSK and 8PSK 4D-TCM are included. For micro satellite scenario, the maximum symbol rate is up to 150Mbsps, and the EVM is as low as 1.9%. For CubeSat scenario, the maximum symbol rate is up to 60Mbsps, and the EVM is less than 1.7%. The maximum data rates are 412.5Mbps and 165Mbps, respectively. Besides, triple modular redundancy (TMR) scheme is implemented in order to reduce single event effect (SEE) induced by radiation. Finally, the theoretical error performance is provided based on comprehensive analysis, especially when BER is lower and much lower than 10⁻⁶ due to low error bit requirement of modern high-resolution earth remote-sensing instruments.

Keywords: CubeSat, X-band transmitter, FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array), micro satellite

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2 Numerical Analyses of Dynamics of Deployment of PW-Sat2 Deorbit Sail Compared with Results of Experiment under Micro-Gravity and Low Pressure Conditions

Authors: P. Brunne, K. Ciechowska, K. Gajc, K. Gawin, M. Gawin, M. Kania, J. Kindracki, Z. Kusznierewicz, D. Pączkowska, F. Perczyński, K. Pilarski, D. Rafało, E. Ryszawa, M. Sobiecki, I. Uwarowa

Abstract:

Big amount of space debris constitutes nowadays a real thread for operating space crafts; therefore the main purpose of PW-Sat2’ team was to create a system that could help cleanse the Earth’s orbit after each small satellites’ mission. After 4 years of development, the motorless, low energy consumption and low weight system has been created. During series of tests, the system has shown high reliable efficiency. The PW-Sat2’s deorbit system is a square-shaped sail which covers an area of 4m². The sail surface is made of 6 μm aluminized Mylar film which is stretched across 4 diagonally placed arms, each consisting of two C-shaped flat springs and enveloped in Mylar sleeves. The sail is coiled using a special, custom designed folding stand that provides automation and repeatability of the sail unwinding tests and placed in a container with inner diameter of 85 mm. In the final configuration the deorbit system weights ca. 600 g and occupies 0.6U (in accordance with CubeSat standard). The sail’s releasing system requires minimal amount of power based on thermal knife that burns out the Dyneema wire, which holds the system before deployment. The Sail is being pushed out of the container within a safe distance (20 cm away) from the satellite. The energy for the deployment is completely assured by coiled C-shaped flat springs, which during the release, unfold the sail surface. To avoid dynamic effects on the satellite’s structure, there is the rotational link between the sail and satellite’s main body. To obtain complete knowledge about complex dynamics of the deployment, a number of experiments have been performed in varied environments. The numerical model of the dynamics of the Sail’s deployment has been built and is still under continuous development. Currently, the integration of the flight model and Deorbit Sail is performed. The launch is scheduled for February 2018. At the same time, in cooperation with United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, sail models and requested facilities are being prepared for the sail deployment experiment under micro-gravity and low pressure conditions at Bremen Drop Tower, Germany. Results of those tests will provide an ultimate and wide knowledge about deployment in space environment to which system will be exposed during its mission. Outcomes of the numerical model and tests will be compared afterwards and will help the team in building a reliable and correct model of a very complex phenomenon of deployment of 4 c-shaped flat springs with surface attached. The verified model could be used inter alia to investigate if the PW-Sat2’s sail is scalable and how far is it possible to go with enlarging when creating systems for bigger satellites.

Keywords: Space, CubeSat, deorbitation, sail, debris

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1 Tailoring of ECSS Standard for Space Qualification Test of CubeSat Nano-Satellite

Authors: B. Tiseo, V. Quaranta, G. Bruno, G. Sisinni

Abstract:

There is an increasing demand of nano-satellite development among universities, small companies, and emerging countries. Low-cost and fast-delivery are the main advantages of such class of satellites achieved by the extensive use of commercial-off-the-shelf components. On the other side, the loss of reliability and the poor success rate are limiting the use of nano-satellite to educational and technology demonstration and not to the commercial purpose. Standardization of nano-satellite environmental testing by tailoring the existing test standard for medium/large satellites is then a crucial step for their market growth. Thus, it is fundamental to find the right trade-off between the improvement of reliability and the need to keep their low-cost/fast-delivery advantages. This is particularly even more essential for satellites of CubeSat family. Such miniaturized and standardized satellites have 10 cm cubic form and mass no more than 1.33 kilograms per 1 unit (1U). For this class of nano-satellites, the qualification process is mandatory to reduce the risk of failure during a space mission. This paper reports the description and results of the space qualification test campaign performed on Endurosat’s CubeSat nano-satellite and modules. Mechanical and environmental tests have been carried out step by step: from the testing of the single subsystem up to the assembled CubeSat nano-satellite. Functional tests have been performed during all the test campaign to verify the functionalities of the systems. The test duration and levels have been selected by tailoring the European Space Agency standard ECSS-E-ST-10-03C and GEVS: GSFC-STD-7000A.

Keywords: Vibration, Testing, shock, CubeSat, nano-satellite

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