2014.B.2.3 Composite Cubesat and Mission capabilities
Gustavo Cotta (1)
Composite, Structure, CubeSat
The whole CubeSat functionality depends on the integrity of its subsystems. For that reason, it is very important that the structure subsystem is built to be robust and reliable to ensure the protection of all other subsystems integrated within.
The goal is to develop a high performance CubeSat structure with the use of new materials, like composite materials. The use of composite materials for primary structure increases the strength and reduces the weight of existing CubeSat structures increasing at the same time the payload capacity.
Interplanetary missions require more robust and reliable structures so a CubeSat manufactured with composite materials could be the solution for those exploratory missions.
One of the keys of a composite structure is the design in order to reduce manufacturing cost and stress concentration, especially on interference with other components.
The results of study on alternative structures designs for CubeSat, shows that one solid wall composite U1 CubeSat design can stand up to 25g loads with a temperature range of -55°C (-67° F) to 90°C (194° F). Additionally, the vibration simulation results show a minimum vibration mode of 157.6 Hz. All of that was achieved with a weight of 183 grams.
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