Design and testing of a novel modular nanosatellite structural bus
Darling, Nathan Thomas
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Launch cost per unit mass is the most consistent and largest cost driver for any modern spaceflight mission, with quoted per-kilogram launch fees in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. This is followed by the costs associated with long development schedules, shifting mission requirements, radiation-hardened electronics and other similar systems engineering constraints common to satellite development efforts. The Boston University Student satellite for Applications and Training (BUSAT) responds directly to these issues by providing a modular satellite bus architecture addressing the early hardware lifecycle from concept development to launch. BUSAT's novel approach to the logistics of satellite structural integration supports a novel plug-and-play software and physical-layer architecture. Unique pressure-lock fastening techniques not only allow very fast integration but also display excellent frequency response characteristics when subjected to stringent vibration tests. The unique cubic geometry of BUSA T's modular structure allows mission planners better control over cost and risk before launch, including the ability to predict features of the structure's frequency response over a variety of payload configurations.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University