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Spring 2015 Student Capstone Project - JourneyMEN CubeSat Power System

Students: Nicholas Bowers, Edward Dorsey, Michael Langlois, James Wise


A group of students from FSU’s satellite campus at Arundel Mills in Hanover, MD have been working with engineers from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to design an electrical power system (EPS) and Power Distribution (PD) for a CubeSat. CubeSat’s are very small?scale satellites, as small as 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm cubes, which provide a means for universities and companies alike to perform scientific research at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellites. The failure of many CubeSat satellites can be linked to issues within the onboard EPS and PD circuitry. Power requirements were provided by NASA engineers, an output power supply of +3.3 volts at 1 amp, +5 volts at 1 amp, and ± 12 volts at 50 milliamps. By using solar panels on the exterior of the CubeSat and an onboard battery system, power will be supplied to the spacecraft during its sun?synchronous orbit around the Earth. The EPS and PD designs were simulated using electrical circuit simulation software. The next step will be to prototype the circuitry and perform tests to characterize the students design.