Design Solutions for Modular Satellite Architectures [chapter]

Leonardo M., Claudio Sanso, Claudio Passerone, Stefano Speretta, Maurizio Tranchero, Marco Borri, Dante Del
2010 Aerospace Technologies Advancements  
Aerospace Technologies Advancements 166 Starting from the PiCPoT experience, in 2006 we began a new project called ARaMiS which is the Italian acronym for Modular Architecture for Satellites. This work describes how the architecture of the ARaMiS satellite has been obtained from the lesson learned from our former experience. Moreover we describe satellite operations, giving some details of the major subsystems. This work is composed of two parts. The first one describes the design methodology,
more » ... esign methodology, solutions and techniques that we used to develop the PiCPoT satellite; it gives an overview of its operations, with some details of the major subsystems. Details on the specifications can also be found in Passerone et al, 2008) . The second part, indeed exploits the experience achieved during the PiCPoT development and describes a proposal for a low-cost modular architecture for satellites. The PiCPoT satellite The PiCPoT design activity carried out at Dept. of Electronics, in tight cooperation with the Dept. of Aerospace Engineering and other departments of Politecnico, was aimed at developing and manufacturing a low-cost prototype of a fully operational nano-satellite. The design activity started in early 2004 and gathered about 10 people among professors and Ph.D. students, plus about 20 undergraduate students (the former for the whole Ph.D. program duration, the latter for shorter period, between 6 and 12 months each). The total effort of the project can be estimated as about 12 man-years (staff + student) for design, manufacturing and testing; a flight model and two engineering models of the PiCPoT satellite, shown in Figure 1, have been built. www.intechopen.com Design Solutions for Modular Satellite Architectures 167 Design constraints An airborne satellite must comply with hard constraints related to the severe space environment and the inability to repair the system in case of failure. Therefore, the design and the assembly of the device must abide by tighter rules than usual good and safe design criteria applied for any electronic system. This is particularly true when using COTS components and technology, which require the adoption of design techniques which guarantee system operation even in the presence of limited faults at the device level. Other specific characteristics of a space application, although not directly related to failures of the system, further constrain the possible design solutions that can be adopted. These include the need to autonomously produce power, the limited visibility of the satellite from a ground station and the distance from it, the length of the mission, and so on. In the following, the constraints and their implications that were considered in the design of PiCPoT, along with some solutions and ideas, are outlined.
doi:10.5772/6933 fatcat:nswtbgdmv5dr5pnzcvg2d4bejy