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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics


The structural design of the CSSWE CubeSat began with the commercially available Pumpkin, Inc. 3U aluminum chassis. The top image shows a rendering of the aluminum shell of the CubeSat with custom designed solar panels. The bottom image shows the interior components of the CubeSat with the REPTile scientific instrument at the center of the CubeSat. The REPTile electronics board is visible below the instrument, while the other electronics boards (C&DH, COMM & EPS) are visible to the right of the instrument. The battery plate & battery are visible at the far end of the electronics stack. The interior view shows the custom structural supports made to accommodate the relatively heavy instrument as well as all electrical components. The design of the interior structure was also driven by the CubeSat requirement that the satellite center of mass be within 2 cm of the geometric center, as well as the need for simple assembly and disassembly during integration and testing. All of the interior components assemble in a vertical stack, allowing the exterior shell to slide over the entire assembly during integration. Extensive finite element analysis was performed on the structural components to ensure that the CubeSat could survive a vibration environment three sigma higher than expected during launch. Pre-launch qualification and acceptance random vibration testing has confirmed that the structure meets all strength requirements.