GASPACS Structure: Designing to Survive


John Ellis

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

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Faculty Mentor

Jan Sojika


The USU Get Away Special Team has been designing a CubeSat that will be launched into Low Earth Orbit. While many man-hours have been put into the functioning and inner workings of the satellite, they will be wasted if a viable structure is not designed that can withstand the intensity of space flight. Designing such a frame became the area of this research focusing on two primary factors; vibrational and thermal stress. The launch into orbit exerts massive amounts of stress and strain on an object in the form of high frequency vibrations. Making sure the structure does not shake apart is critical and often very difficult. Analysis of heat transfer and temperature fluctuations is also critical. The lack of atmosphere in space allows for great swings in temperatures and high levels of radiation incident on the object. This can cause both stress in the frame and the possibility of electrical components failing due to the satellite experiencing extreme temperatures. Through the use of finite element analysis programs, literature reviews, and previously recorded satellite data, a structure was designed and prototyped for use by the GAS Team in their upcoming launch.

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