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