Development of a Semi-Modular CubeSat ADCS Testing Platform for Integrated and UnIntegrated Systems


As Cube Satellites (CubeSats) become more widely used for both Industrial and Academic purposes the need for standardized and modular testing equipment follows. It is the purpose of this proposal to develop a physical platform for testing performance of CubeSat Attitude Determination and Control Systems (ADCS). Specifically, this proposal targets the development of a testing platform for unintegrated ADCS, integrated 1U and 3U CubeSats. This aligns with the current needs of the Alaska Space Grant Program for its ARC2 and CCP CubeSat missions. In accordance with NASA Strategic Goals 4.3 which states, “Assure Safety and Mission Success”, the development of an Alaska Space Grant Testing Platform will increase the quality of ADCS testing that can be accomplished and therefore increase the likelihood of discovering errors leading to mission critical objective failure. This proposal also fulfills Strategic Goal 4.4 “Manage Human Capital”. By developing a semi modular test platform capable of verifying three different variations of CubeSats ADCS, there will be less need to invest the time in development of another variation. By conclusion of this project I plan to have developed a Testing Platform that can verify the performance of three different variations of CubeSat ADCS with automated mass balancing for the Alaska Space Grant Program.


Name: Capra Galileo Joseph Edwards-Smith, Undergraduate Student

Institution: University of Alaska Fairbanks

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Mentor: Quetzal Luebke-Laroque

Award: Apprenticeship

Funding Period: 2020 to 2021