[amsat-bb] Re: Not everyone is working on ARISSat-1 . . . . The AMSAT NextGen Spacecraft Bus

Alex, N3SQ amsat at elkmtn.org
Mon Oct 12 06:52:41 PDT 2009

As I mentioned a few weeks ago . . . Not all of us are focused on ARISSat-1.

I left everyone with two thoughts:
* Look to the Empire State near the Harvest Moon
* A gift may arrive near the ides of May

At the AMSAT Symposium (which happens to be occurring near the Harvest 
Moon) a paper was presented on behalf of a team of students from the 
State University of New York at Binghamton (Binghamton University), 
Thomas J Watson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The students 
form, as part of their Senior Design Projects, the core of an AMSAT  
volunteer team to modify the ARISSat-1 design into the Next Generation 
of OSCARs using the CubeSat specification, i.e. the NextGen Project. It 
will be an OPEN, modular design in furtherance of the decision at last 
year's symposium to create a building block architecture for future 

The core student team consists of 27 Systems Engineering students who 
are focusing on requirements analysis of ARISSat-1, documenting the 
ARISSat-1 systems, and analyzing the lessons learned from ARISSat-1 / 
other prior spacecraft.  The goal is to have a modular, evolutionary 
design ready for NextGen's presentation at the 2010 Dayton Hamvention. 
(which happens to be occurring near the ides of May . . . ). There are 
also 7 Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Engineers working together 
with the Systems Engineers on the Power and Structure Systems of 
NextGen. The EEs will be focusing on redesigning the ARISSat-1 Power 
Systems to use Supercapacitors instead of batteries and reducing the 
footprint of some of the boards (ICB especially). The MEs  will be 
focused on modifying the structure to incorporate deployable solar 
panels with a scalable design that will work for 1U, 2U and 3U sizes.

So that's a total core team of 34 Students . . . plus advisers, mentors 
and volunteers

The goal is for NextGen to be a Picosat-class bus structure that AMSAT, 
or any other University, can use for 1U, 2U, or 3U CubeSat  spacecraft.  
We will be  using good Industrial Engineering concepts to drive the unit 
cost down while maintaining reliability. If we can get the cost low 
enough to mass produce the NextGen bus, AMSAT could make the bus 
available at low-to-no-cost to qualified University groups - AMSAT would 
handle spacecraft operations during the primary mission, but when the 
primary mission is complete, the satellite is turned over to AMSAT for 
it's secondary mission as a new Amateur Radio Satelite - an OSCAR in 
every CubeSat.
Now the satellite, given the right conditions, could have a lifetime 
equivalent to AO-7. This will allow Universities and Schools to focus on 
developing the payload and experiments to fit within the integrated and 
proven spacecraft bus.

An Engineering Model of the NextGen CubeSat spacecraft bus will be on 
display at the Dayton Hamvention AMSAT Booth for everyone to study.

The BU team is the core of the AMSAT team, but we are looking for other 
individuals and University/School teams to participate in all aspects of 
the spacecraft design - RF Systems - Guidance, Navigation, Control & 
Experiment Systems - Power & Structure Systems. This is an ongoing 
effort, it is not a one time event, but the start of a stable, 
evolutionary design process that will further STEM (Science, Technology, 
Engineering & Mathmatics) with the Next Generation of engineers and 
amateur radio operators.

We're going to do Evolutionary Change, not Revolutionary Change.
We're going to utilize, modify and develop Reusable Modules
We're going to start with Picosat-class and work our way up
We're going to use good Systems Engineering standards and practices 
WITHOUT stifling creativity and the need to have FUN
We're going to all LEARN something from each other

Volunteers are needed, the adventure awaits! Time to stop talking and 
time to get working.

There have been lots of posts on this list (AMSAT-BB) about not having 
enough of in-orbit spacecraft, - well now is your chance to make a 

V  O  L  U  N  T  E  E  R !

Even if you only have an hour a week, you can mentor a student over the 
phone or you can peer review a document that the students(or someone 
else) are working on.
If you have more than an hour a week, you can implement a small design 
change to an existing subsystem; you could respin the board layout to 
meet a reduced form factor; you could redesign a module to use different 
technology (there are lots of ways to do an SDX and lots of ways to do 
an IHU).
If you are working with a University/School who is working on a CubeSat 
or thinking about it, talk to me, we're looking for other teams to 
contribute. Your students will get experience dealing with 
geographically-distributed virtual teams.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or offers to 

Alex Harvilchuck, N3NP
NextGen Program Manager

Alex, N3SQ wrote:
> There are some of us out here who are trying to bring a little order 
> to the chaos and help AMSAT, but we are all not working on ARISSat-1.
> Our effort lies in the following vectors and scalars:
> - Change needs to be EVOLUTIONARY not REVOLUTIONARY.
> - Chaos can be harnessed with the correct application of traceability.
> - The future leads through the correct application of effort
> There are clouds of dust on the horizon . . . . . with the sound of 
> many hoof-beats in the distance . . . . . is that a bugle call-to-arms 
> I hear on the wind?
> Those who know, understand. Those who need to know will find out soon 
> enough.
> I will leave you with these two thoughts until next time . . .
> *  Look to the Empire State near the Harvest Moon.
> *  A gift may arrive near the ides of May.

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