Design of Low-Profile Deployable Systems for University CubeSats

Open Access
Friedenberger, Corey W.
Area of Honors:
Aerospace Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Sven G Bilen, Thesis Supervisor
  • Robert Graham Melton, Faculty Reader
  • George A Lesieutre, Honors Advisor
  • deployable
  • deployment
  • boom
  • CubeSat
  • engineering design
  • space systems
  • space systems engineering
  • trade study
  • rapid prototyping
  • triax
Nano-satellites are quickly becoming an important platform in space exploration and scientific exploration, and new technologies must be developed to maximize their potential. The standards set forth by the California Polytechnic University (CalPoly) CubeSat Design Speci cation (CDS) have helped to proliferate the spread of CubeSats as a low-cost method to access space. Scaling of technologies to fit small packages is required for even greater use of the CubeSat platform. The Student Space Programs Laboratory (SSPL)'s Orbital System for the Investigation of the Response of the Ionosphere to Stimulation and Space Weather (OSIRIS) spacecraft requires the use of a deployable boom for its science experiment, and a boom that satisfies the requirements is not commercially available to SSPL. This work addresses the development process of the OSIRIS deployable boom system through a systems engineering and engineering design approach to increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of the system concept and to conclude with a feasible design based on prototype evaluation and application of practical experience. The methods presented here include research and benchmarking, requirements formulation, concept development, 3D computer-aided design (CAD) modeling, formal trade studies through a pairwise comparison matrix and Pugh matrix, and rapid prototyping using RepRap prototyping machines at The Pennsylvania State University. The result of this development project is a concept based upon prototype evolution and consideration of the various system components and interfaces. The final design concept includes a stand-alone cassette to handle the boom stowage and deployment and housing of the Hybrid Plasma Probe (HPP), but relies upon an external method for stowing the triax cable on the outside of the spacecraft. This concept is rooted in the results of prototype testing and experience, but requires additional prototyping and environmental testing before it is ready for inclusion in the OSIRIS flight model. The system is also anticipated for application in the OSIRIS-3U satellite out of SSPL. The system is also expected to add to the regiment of CubeSat technologies available in the public sector so that additional CubeSat missions may be enabled.