Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Civil/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering
Shunafrica White - Elizabeth City State University
Co-Author(s): Eric Bravo, New City College of Technology, Brooklyn, NY
A coronagraph telescope is designed to fit inside of a CubeSat, thus creating a CubeSat satellite-based coronagraph. A CubeSat is a type of research satellite called a nanosatellite. It is used for science, exploration, education, and operations. CubeSats can consist of one unit, “1 U” or three units, which is the particular one used for this project. The slight weight and size distinguishes CubeSats from traditional satellites since the CubeSat is only 1000 cubic centimeters and has a mass of 1.33 kilograms (3 pounds). This small volume and weight allow the CubeSat to be mounted on the unoccupied space of a spacecraft. The objective of this research was to modify the mechanical design of various components of the Coronagraph CubeSat. The CubeSat will be mounted inside of a spacecraft. Once the CubeSat reaches space, it will then be released from the spacecraft into orbit. A coronagraph is a telescope that can see objects very close to the sun. It consists of optics and a filter lens, a sun-shield, a camera, and an aperture or disk. This instrument that is installed in the CubeSat will allow the scientist to study the corona and various volcanoes on the sun. In addition to the sun, this instrument will also study objects around the sun, such as stars. The instrument will record various images of the sun’s corona from different lens perspectives. Once all the weight and space restrictions were known, commercial Computer Aided Design (CAD) software was used to redesign various mechanical components of the CubeSat in order to meet the desired operations and to reduce the structure’s weight. These restriction parameters included a mass restriction of 1.33 kilograms and a volume restriction of 1000 cubic centimeters. The revised CubeSat has more strength and durability. The finished product resulted in additional and more innovative features to the already existing components and a final mass of 923.7 grams, which is 30 percent reduced margin from its maximum allowable mass. The next step is to start working on the design of the second and third units, which will house the electrical components, cooling systems, solar panels, and reactions wheels.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NASA-NSTI Grant
Faculty Advisor: Akbar Eslami, email@example.com