Session

Session VIII: 17th Annual Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition

SSC09-VIII-5.pdf (4812 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer (DANDE) is a spherical, 50kg satellite designed and built by students at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The goals of the DANDE mission are to fabricate a low-cost proof-of-concept spacecraft that improves our understanding of spatial and temporal variability of atmospheric neutral density and winds in the thermosphere. This project recently (January 2009 ) won the University Nanosat 5 competition sponsored by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and as a result will be launched in early 2011. To accurately measure atmospheric drag requires a spherically shaped satellite to allow for a known cross sectional area and coefficient of drag creating several unique challenges for the student engineers. These challenges include creating a separation system while attaching the spacecraft to the launch vehicle and maintaining the spherical form factor. A solution has been achieved by creating an adapter plate that uses off-the-shelf mechanisms and a student designed fourpoint kinematic mount system to connect the 50 kilogram spacecraft to the launch vehicle. The student team has performed a series of analyses and testing over during the design phase of the project to ensure that the system meets the requirements set forth by the AFRL. These include finite element and solid mechanics analysis, vibration tests, microgravity releases and a future planned thermal vacuum test. This paper describes the student effort led by Bruce Davis to design, analyze and test this separation system over the course of two years. Finally, this paper closes with the lessons learned from testing and its influence on the flight build.

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Aug 12th, 11:45 AM

The Design and Development of a Separation System for a Low-cost Spherical Nanosatellite

The Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer (DANDE) is a spherical, 50kg satellite designed and built by students at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The goals of the DANDE mission are to fabricate a low-cost proof-of-concept spacecraft that improves our understanding of spatial and temporal variability of atmospheric neutral density and winds in the thermosphere. This project recently (January 2009 ) won the University Nanosat 5 competition sponsored by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and as a result will be launched in early 2011. To accurately measure atmospheric drag requires a spherically shaped satellite to allow for a known cross sectional area and coefficient of drag creating several unique challenges for the student engineers. These challenges include creating a separation system while attaching the spacecraft to the launch vehicle and maintaining the spherical form factor. A solution has been achieved by creating an adapter plate that uses off-the-shelf mechanisms and a student designed fourpoint kinematic mount system to connect the 50 kilogram spacecraft to the launch vehicle. The student team has performed a series of analyses and testing over during the design phase of the project to ensure that the system meets the requirements set forth by the AFRL. These include finite element and solid mechanics analysis, vibration tests, microgravity releases and a future planned thermal vacuum test. This paper describes the student effort led by Bruce Davis to design, analyze and test this separation system over the course of two years. Finally, this paper closes with the lessons learned from testing and its influence on the flight build.