Waking Up the Satellite

Left The power generation, power consumption, root mean square of the power generation, and root mean square of the consumption over time following launch. Center The power level of the battery over time following launch. Right The angular velocity of the satellite over time following launch.

Left The power generation, power consumption, root mean square of the power generation, and root mean square of the consumption over time following launch. Center The power level of the battery over time following launch. Right The angular velocity of the satellite over time following launch.

The NEUDOSE satellite is going to be launched into space in a completely off setting. Following launch, the satellite will turn on and begin power generation, power storage in the battery, and attitude determination. The satellite will stabilize itself, and then deploy solar panels for solar energy collection. The above graphs show the power generation and consumption over time (left), the battery level over time (center), and the angular velocity as the satellite stabilizes and positions itself over time (right) following the initial launch.  This analysis was performed by Devan, an engineering physics student, on the NEUDOSE team. 

Commercial Products and NEUDOSE

Although most of the satellite is designed by the members of the NEUDOSE team, there are a few commercial off the shelf (COTS) components that will be utilized. Mitchell, an engineering physics student, is discussing the feasibility of purchasing various components pertaining to the electrical power system of the satellite. Selecting appropriate COTS parts are important to ensure that the components integrate with the rest of the satellite well. 

S-Band Communication Antenna Design

The S-band is a range of radio wave frequencies that can be used for satellite communication. An antenna is required for signal transmission and reception.  Jimmy, an electrical and biomedical engineering student, has been given the task of designing NEUDOSE's S-band antenna. Jimmy is presenting his research on designs utilized by other satellite design groups, for example NASA, as inspiration for our S-band antenna design. 

Overall Satellite Structure Design

There are many criteria to consider when designing the mechanical structure of a satellite, for example tensile or compression strength, weight, thermal and electrical conductivity, and cost. Chris (pictured left), an automotive and vehicle engineering student, and Ryan (pictured right), a mechanical engineering student, had the challenge of designing the overall structure of the CubeSat with these considerations in mind. Chris and Ryan presented their comprehensive design, down to every nut and bolt, to the NEUDOSE team this past week. Great job guys!

UHF Antenna Deployment

In order for the satellite to communicate with us back on Earth, it is necessary to have antennas that can transmit and receive signals. The Ultra High Frequency (UHF) antenna being used for this purpose is going to be approximately 17cm in length.  Due to certain constraints, the antenna must be stored inside the satellite frame prior to and during launch. Following launch, the satellite will stabilize and then the antenna can be deployed. Luis, an Automotive & Vehicle Technology (B.Tech) student, is pictured above explaining the UHF antenna deployment module to the NEUDOSE team.

Command & Data Handling Interfacing

Functioning as the "brain" of the satellite, the command and data handling subsystem needs to have proper connectivity. Akiv, an electrical and biomedical engineering student, is presenting the current design of the interfacing between different digital components. These connections include bridging the on-board computers to the memory, storage and other subsystems. This plays a crucial role in the functionality of the satellite, data collection of the science payload, and communication with us back on Earth.

Satellite Startup Sequence and Malfunction Prevention

John, an electrical engineering student, presented to the team his progress with two pivotal processes in the functionality of the satellite. John described the design of the startup sequence; the order in which components turn on after the satellite powers on for the very first time.  John also introduced the design of NEUDOSE's WatchDog Timer. This circuit checks for computer malfunctions that can hinder the satellite's performance.

Command & Data Handling System Architecture

The Command & Data Handling subsystem consists of components related to the control of each subsystem. Acting as the ‘brain’ of the CubeSat, this subsystem will examine the information obtained by each subsystem and monitor the overall condition of the satellite. Spencer, a software engineering student, is presenting the system architecture of the clocking system. This system is responsible for ensuring that various components of the satellite are in sync and operate harmoniously. This is absolutely critical for the proper functioning of the satellite!

Reflow Soldering Satellite Components

Top The circuit board after soldering. Bottom left Erica and Marc reflow soldering. Bottom right The transceiver after soldering as seen from a stereo microscope (10x).

Top The circuit board after soldering. Bottom left Erica and Marc reflow soldering. Bottom right The transceiver after soldering as seen from a stereo microscope (10x).

Reflow soldering is a technique used to connect very small electrical components together using a soldering paste and heat. Marc, an electrical engineering student, and Erica, a medical physics student, spent the afternoon reflow soldering small transceivers that are smaller than 1cm x 1cm in size.  These transceivers will be used to communicate with the satellite.