Electrical

Electrical

The Electrical Team is responsible for designing and building all electronic components on CySat-I. The batteries, radio, and antenna are off the shelf components. This also includes maintaining an accurate power budget and debugging any software needed on-board. The Electrical Team is ultimately responsible for testing and final integration of the satellite.

Team Roster

  • Joshua Gilmore (Team Lead)
  • Ian Gonzalez
  • Srinath Kannan

From left to right: Joshua Gilmore, Srinath Kannan

Not Pictured: Ian Gonzalez

Current State

In all, the Electrical Team is working on testing and integrating the on-board EPS, fabricating and testing the necessary boards within CySat-I, and working with integrating with the flight computer at Howe Hall. Upon completion, all PC104 buses will be integrated throughout the cube satellite and the power budget will accurately predict power levels on-board the satellite.

A Computer Engineering 488 team working with the project has taken lead on the payload during its final stages of development and integration. The Payload consists of a software-defined radio and radiometer that will be used to measure moisture in soil from Low Earth Orbit (LEO). (See Payload for more details)

With the Computer Engineering 488 team working on the payload, the main priority of the Electrical Team was to complete the power systems of CySat-I.  The power systems included the EPS and solar arrays that would be used to power the satellite.  Along with this, the Electrical team had to plan out the wiring of CySat-I so that when it came time to putting the satellite together, all components can be integrated fully and without issue.  At this time, the solar array PCBs have been fully designed and are currently in the process of being manufactured and delivered from Advanced Circuits.  While the team waits for the arrays to be delivered, it has been working to get together a plan for wiring the satellite once final fabrication begins as well as update all necessary documentation that may have become outdated during the time of the solar array design process.

Milestones

  • Complete the designs for the side panel PCBs of CySat-1​​
    • Use the software, KiCAD, to design the PCBs and their schematics.​
  • Establish a plan on wiring up the CySat-1’s electrical components​​
    • Develop diagrams and instructions to follow to ensure a proper wiring process.​
  • Maintain the Electrical Power System (EPS) of CySat-1​​
    • Communicate with EnduroSat to ensure necessary procedures are being followed​.
    • Ensure that the components of the EPS are in a nominal condition.

 

Deliverables

  • 5 solar arrays, one for all sides except top, each designed in accordance with the shape and location of the internal components of CySat-I
  • 1 EPS, in excellent condition, ready to be integrated into CySat-I
  • A set of instructions and a collection of diagrams to be used as a wiring guide for CySat-I

Team Goal

  • A fully designed and manufactured power system for CySat-I by end of the semester.

Progress

This semester, the Electronical Team has made a great amount of progress towards the completion of CySat-I.  With work for the Payload delegated to the Computer Engineering Seniors, the Electronical Team got to focus mainly on the power systems of the satellite.  Using the software, KiCAD, the team worked to generate designs for the solar array PCBs that was capable of generating power for the satellite as well as not conflict with any other components in the satellite.  The team also had to maintain the EPS so that when it came time to integrate it into CySat-I’s structural frame, it would be in perfect condition to operate for the entirety of CySat-I’s mission.  Since the team was made up of Aerospace Engineering  and Mechanical Engineering undergrads, the process of completing these tasks provided us a lot of experience with Electrical Engineering since every aspect of the components we worked with revolved around power and electric flow.  Along with the Electrical Engineering experience, the team’s membership also had the opportunity to develop skills in regard to communication and teamwork since not only did the team had to work together to complete its necessary tasks but they also had to work alongside members one or more of the other teams to ensure that the task at hand was completed and not conflicting with any of the other teams’ work.  In the end, Electronical was able to complete the designs for the solar array PCBs and have sent them to Advanced Circuits to be manufactured.  Currently, the Electronics Team is working to develop a plan to wire up the electrical components once fabrication of CySAT-I begins as well as continue the ongoing maintenance of the EPS while also updating any documentation related to the electrical systems of CySAT-I.

Looking Back

This semester has been quite a learning experience for all members of the Electronics Team.  A big challenge the team faced was lack of experience.  The tasks that the team had to work on this semester were related to Electrical Engineering but none of the membership had Electrical Engineering as their field of study.  However, the team was able to overcome this challenge by doing extensive research and reaching out to people that had experience with the Electronical Team and/or Electrical Engineering in order to learn the necessary concepts and equations needed to complete these tasks.  From this, the membership got to learn about the importance of research, and communication while also getting some experience in Electrical Engineering that will benefit the membership in the long run.  Since the power systems of CySat directly affected every other team on the project, it was common for an Electronics Team member to be working with members of one or more teams to solve problems related to their respective tasks and components.  From this, the membership got to learn the importance of communication as well as the importance of keeping documentation since having information available for all project members to access allowed for a more effective working process for both the Electronical Team and the project as a whole.

What’s Next

Due to the deadline of the end of June, members of the Electronical Team will be working to progress the project during the summer.  Members that stay at ISU will work with any other project member staying to ensure that CySat-I is ready to be handed off by the end of June.  Any member that is unable to stay or is only able to stay for a limited time will be working on the wiring plan and documentation related to electronics so that once they leave for the summer, other members of CySat or M2I can take their place and continue where they left off.

For next semester, since the current plan is to have CySat-I handed off during the summer, the Electronical Team will work with the rest of the project to begin designing CySat-II.  It is likely that electronic designs from CySat-I will be used as a foundation for the electronic designs for CySat-II.  Because of this, current team members will be working this summer to catalog their knowledge and organize documentation so that the team next semester will be able to have resources available to pick up from where this semester’s team left off.  Also, with CySat-I being launched this Fall, while the Electronical Team is picking up where the spring team left off, they will get to see CySat-I lift off and become the first M2I project to orbit Earth.