Presenter Information

Craig Clark, Clyde Space Ltd

Session

Technical Session III: Tidbits

SSC10-III-5.pdf (1436 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Payload developers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that very small spacecraft, such as CubeSats, can offer for fast turn-around, low-cost missions. This increased interest in CubeSats for commercial, military and scientific missions is resulting in some exciting and challenging applications for this miniature satellite platform. The challenges include the ability to realize fine attitude control, the need to overcome the physical challenge of payload accommodation, but most consistently, is the capacity to generate and store enough power on-board the spacecraft to fulfill the mission requirements. So how do we overcome the power problem on CubeSats? Power provision on board any spacecraft is not simply about how large the solar arrays are - size helps, but it isn't everything - it is the configuration of the solar arrays, the efficiency and effectiveness of the power management system and the choice of battery technology that all combine to provide a power system that packs a punch on a tiny satellite. Through the use of a custom designed, CubeSat power analysis design tool, this paper evaluates some common and novel solar array configurations for typical CubeSat orbits. This included both body mounted and deployed solar panel approaches Having been asked recently, ‘Can I fit my LiDAR on a CubeSat platform?’, it is clear that power provision on CubeSats will continue to be a bottle neck for new CubeSat applications. This paper shows that CubeSats can provide surprisingly respectable peak and orbit average power levels when configured appropriately.

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Aug 10th, 9:45 AM

Huge Power Demand...Itsy-Bitsy Satellite: Solving the CubeSat Power Paradox

Payload developers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that very small spacecraft, such as CubeSats, can offer for fast turn-around, low-cost missions. This increased interest in CubeSats for commercial, military and scientific missions is resulting in some exciting and challenging applications for this miniature satellite platform. The challenges include the ability to realize fine attitude control, the need to overcome the physical challenge of payload accommodation, but most consistently, is the capacity to generate and store enough power on-board the spacecraft to fulfill the mission requirements. So how do we overcome the power problem on CubeSats? Power provision on board any spacecraft is not simply about how large the solar arrays are - size helps, but it isn't everything - it is the configuration of the solar arrays, the efficiency and effectiveness of the power management system and the choice of battery technology that all combine to provide a power system that packs a punch on a tiny satellite. Through the use of a custom designed, CubeSat power analysis design tool, this paper evaluates some common and novel solar array configurations for typical CubeSat orbits. This included both body mounted and deployed solar panel approaches Having been asked recently, ‘Can I fit my LiDAR on a CubeSat platform?’, it is clear that power provision on CubeSats will continue to be a bottle neck for new CubeSat applications. This paper shows that CubeSats can provide surprisingly respectable peak and orbit average power levels when configured appropriately.