This paper describes the design and the manufacturing of a Cubesat platform based on a plastic structure. The Cubesat structure has been realized in plastic material (ABS) using a rapid prototyping technique. The rapid prototyping technique has several advantages including fast implementation, accuracy in manufacturing small parts and low cost. Moreover, concerning the construction of a small satellite, this technique is very useful thanks to the accuracy achievable in details, which are sometimes difficult and expensive to realize with the use of tools machine. The structure must be able to withstand the launch loads. For this reason, several simulations using an FEM simulation and an intensive vibration test campaign have been performed in the system development and test phase. To demonstrate that this structure is suitable for hosting a complete satellite system, offering innovative integrated solutions, other subsystems have been developed and assembled. Despite its small size, this single unit (1U) Cubesat has a system for active attitude control, a redundant telecommunication system, a payload camera and a photovoltaic system based on high efficiency solar cells. The developed communication subsystem has small dimensions, low power consumption and low cost. An example of the innovations introduced is the antenna system, which has been manufactured inside the ABS structure. The communication protocol which has been implemented, the AX.25 protocol, is mainly used by radio amateurs. The communication system has the capability to transmit both telemetry and data from the payload, in this case a microcamera. The attitude control subsystem is based on an active magnetic system with magnetorquers for detumbling and momentum dumping and three reaction wheels for fine control. It has a total dimension of about 50×50×50 mm. A microcontroller implements the detumbling control law autonomously taking data from integrated magnetometers and executes pointing maneuvers on the basis of commands received in real time from ground. The subsystems developed for this Cubesat have also been designed to be scaled up for larger satellites such as 2U or 3U Cubesats. The additional volume can be used for more complex payloads. Thus the satellite can be used as a low cost platform for companies, institutions or universities to test components in space.

Plastic Cubesat: An innovative and low-cost way to perform applied space research and hands-on education / Piattoni J.; Candini G.P.; Pezzi G.; Santoni F.; Piergentili F.. - In: ACTA ASTRONAUTICA. - ISSN 0094-5765. - ELETTRONICO. - 81:2(2012), pp. 419-429. [10.1016/j.actaastro.201207.030]

Plastic Cubesat: An innovative and low-cost way to perform applied space research and hands-on education

PIATTONI, JACOPO;CANDINI, GIAN PAOLO;PEZZI, GIULIO;PIERGENTILI, FABRIZIO
2012

Abstract

This paper describes the design and the manufacturing of a Cubesat platform based on a plastic structure. The Cubesat structure has been realized in plastic material (ABS) using a rapid prototyping technique. The rapid prototyping technique has several advantages including fast implementation, accuracy in manufacturing small parts and low cost. Moreover, concerning the construction of a small satellite, this technique is very useful thanks to the accuracy achievable in details, which are sometimes difficult and expensive to realize with the use of tools machine. The structure must be able to withstand the launch loads. For this reason, several simulations using an FEM simulation and an intensive vibration test campaign have been performed in the system development and test phase. To demonstrate that this structure is suitable for hosting a complete satellite system, offering innovative integrated solutions, other subsystems have been developed and assembled. Despite its small size, this single unit (1U) Cubesat has a system for active attitude control, a redundant telecommunication system, a payload camera and a photovoltaic system based on high efficiency solar cells. The developed communication subsystem has small dimensions, low power consumption and low cost. An example of the innovations introduced is the antenna system, which has been manufactured inside the ABS structure. The communication protocol which has been implemented, the AX.25 protocol, is mainly used by radio amateurs. The communication system has the capability to transmit both telemetry and data from the payload, in this case a microcamera. The attitude control subsystem is based on an active magnetic system with magnetorquers for detumbling and momentum dumping and three reaction wheels for fine control. It has a total dimension of about 50×50×50 mm. A microcontroller implements the detumbling control law autonomously taking data from integrated magnetometers and executes pointing maneuvers on the basis of commands received in real time from ground. The subsystems developed for this Cubesat have also been designed to be scaled up for larger satellites such as 2U or 3U Cubesats. The additional volume can be used for more complex payloads. Thus the satellite can be used as a low cost platform for companies, institutions or universities to test components in space.
2012
Plastic Cubesat: An innovative and low-cost way to perform applied space research and hands-on education / Piattoni J.; Candini G.P.; Pezzi G.; Santoni F.; Piergentili F.. - In: ACTA ASTRONAUTICA. - ISSN 0094-5765. - ELETTRONICO. - 81:2(2012), pp. 419-429. [10.1016/j.actaastro.201207.030]
Piattoni J.; Candini G.P.; Pezzi G.; Santoni F.; Piergentili F.
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/393310
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 58
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 21
social impact