How to determine the system architecture?  February 1, 2018

What’s an architecture? A system can be considered as a group of subsystems with their own functionalities and goals. The architecture is both the general structure distribution of sub-modules on board, and the definition of their relations. We previously presented here our 5 modules ADCS, TCS, OBC, EDT and EPS. Our architecture has to create subsystems in terms of hardware, communication and energy, while respecting spatial requirements and being the most fault-tolerant possible. Read more

How to slow down satellite rotation ? - The B-dot algorithm  January 25, 2018

The primary purpose of the Attitude Determination and Control System (or ADCS) is to control the attitude of the satellite (as its name would suggest). In the case of ECEĀ³SAT, this will be done by interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field. How so ? By using magnetorquers, which are just some kind of coils used to produce a torque, thus so adjusting the satellite’s rotation. Most certainly, the nanosatellite will undergo some rotation at various stages of its flight: upon separation with the PPOD launcher (or any other launcher) or when deploying the antennas or the Electrodynamic Tether. Read more

What is a student-designed CubeSat made of?  January 10, 2018

Building a satellite is a big adventure for students like us! Even so this enterprise could seem demanding and perhaps even intimidating, we have to manage this just as any other project. And it starts with defining what are the system functionalities. Actually, there are a few standard core functionalities in the world of nanosatellites: First of all, as any other device, the satellite needs power to work. Electricity is produced by solar panels and distributed in the whole CubeSat. Read more