Project Code: 15065
Project Title: Commercial-off-the-Shelf Infrastructure for a 1U CubeSat
Project Type: Industry
Project Intellectual Property: Student Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: Yes
Sponsor Company: Raytheon Missile Systems
Description: CubeSat nanosatellites have a standard chassis size of 10 by 10 by 10 centimeters to allow low-cost space missions through the use of standardized components and launch systems. Many CubeSat missions, however, still cost tens of thousands of dollars because they use expensive “space-rated” components, creating a cost barrier for many CubeSat projects. The team was asked to develop a CubeSat infrastructure design costing less than $5,000 that uses off-the shelf components, including a miniature transceiver, 3-D printing for the internal structure. Off-the-shelf components include a Teensy 3.2 microcontroller and Arduino MicroModem for recording telemetry such as CubeSat surface temperature, system acceleration, attitude, and functionality; and a Yaesu VX-3R FM transceiver that uses amateur radio frequency for communications. The 3-D printer saves cost and mass, improves strength, and permits greater creativity in design beyond the standard CubeSat stack format.