McMaster NEUDOSE's CubeSat is a fairly small satellite, about the size of a loaf bread. This means that the electronic components required must also be small and compact. Each of these pieces must be inspected prior to use to ensure proper functionality. Using a stereomicroscope donated by Vision Engineering Inc., Erica, a medical physics student, is inspecting various small electronics. A melted barometer, pictured top, was discovered. This part will be rejected for quality control.
McMaster NEUDOSE's radiation detector will provide dose information that relates to the health of humans in space. In order to do so, the detector must have the same response to radiation as human cells. A typical human cell is 2μm in diameter. Attempting to build a radiation detector on this scale can be extremely troublesome. Tissue equivalency allows us to build a larger detector to avoid the complications of having to build a 2μm detector. Tissue equivalence is attained through altering the composition, density, and volume of the detector.
Our tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC) will be filled with an enriched propane gas that has a very similar elemental composition to human tissue. By modifying the density of the gas and the diameter of the spherical container, we can get the detector to simulate the response of a 2μm cell.
McMaster NEUDOSE is very grateful to Vision Engineering for donating a Mantis Elite-Cam to our team! This stereo microscope will allow our members to inspect our Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and other small components of our satellite with great precision. Its integrated camera will also allow us to capture images of our work to share with you! We look forward to using the Cam! We would like to thank Mark, Christian (pictured), and the whole Vision Engineering team for making this possible. Vision Engineering is out of this world!
To learn more about Vision Engineering, visit our Sponsors page or their website.
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are devices that connect many different electrical components. Students on NEUDOSE have designed their own PCBs to allow for their desired functioning. The PCBs pictured above were designed by the Communications team.
McMaster NEUDOSE is well into the preliminary design phase of our mission. This is the latest rendering of the CubeSat which includes many different components including the solar panels, TEPC, battery, GPS module, and much more.
This graph depicts the dynamics of the satellite tumbling with respect to various orientations. This gives an estimated time to reach stabilization after the satellite is launched from the P-POD.
As the design of the satellite comes together, a challenge that the team will face is how to integrate the designs of different subsystems. Vinayak, a mechanical engineering student, is presenting his idea of how to mount the radiation detector to the frame of the satellite.
NEUDOSE's radiation detector has different components that produce different signals. This means that various radiation detector electronics are required. Milan, an electrical engineering student, is presenting his work on the design of the electronic readout board that incorporates different components such as pre-amplifiers, amplifiers and Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs).
Alex, an engineering physics student, has been busy simulating the behavior of the Anti-Coincidence Detector (ACD) which is a major component of our radiation detector. Alex presented his findings to the group at our meeting this week which included the detector response as a function of incident radiation direction. Alex performed the simulations using GEometry And Tracking 4 (GEANT4).
Since the students of NEUDOSE come from many different backgrounds, each member brings with them a unique set of skills. This provides a great opportunity for team members to learn from one another. Marc, an electrical engineering student, ran a tutorial to teach other team members how to design Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) in different computer programs. Many subsystems of NEUDOSE will be required to design PCBs for the satellite to function. This proved to be a fantastic way to share practical knowledge!