- Beacon Software
Integration and Testing
Ken Gmerek (Aerospace Engineering)
Matthew Regan (Aerospace Engineering)
The Integration and Testing (I&T) team is in charge of thermal, vibrational, shock, and vacuum testing performed on the satellite components. The tests are performed in order to ensure the components of M-Cubed can still perform under space and launch conditions. The I&T subsytem is also responsible for the integration off all of the subsystem components to prepare M-Cubed for launch.
S3FL Thermal Vacuum Chamber
The S3FL laboratory has a vacuum that is capable of simulating a space-like environment. The chamber has experience a low of 1.0*10^-8 Torr, by using a Varian scroll pump and a Varian turbo pump. The chamber is also capable of reaching a temperature of 90 degrees Celsius. The heating system uses to coil heaters that are connected to thermocouples within the chamber. Those thermocouples are wired through the chamber to PID controllers, which allow for an accurate temperature control.
As the project as neared its delivery date, M-Cubed has had the need to be integrated and de-integrated several times. March 2011 marked the first time that M-Cubed was integrated with all boards and panels attached. Since then, minor revisions have been made to structural design and the integration procedure to work closer to a flight-ready satellite.
The structure is held together primarily through an array of stainless steel and aluminum nuts and screws. Also used on the structure is 3M scoth-weld which makes the bonds between the different components of the satellite even stronger.
M-Cubed requires a deployment mechanism for both antennas needed for communication with the ground station. The 130 MHz receiving antenna is a 0.33-m long dipole while the 435 MHz transmitting antenna is a 0.5-m long monopole. Both antennas are made of metal tape, shaped to maintain a straight profile. Both antennas will be wrapped around the structure. Nylon wire is then used to secure both antennas in place as it is tied through an eyelet on an anteanna and over a resistor on one of the solar panels. When the anteannas need to be deployed, current is ran through the resistor burning the wire, which then releases the antenna.