Structures and Testing

The Structures Team is responsible for developing the subsystem that mechanically supports all of the other subsystems, and meets the requirements of the deployer. The team designs and analyses the structure to survive the required launch environments. The team then manufactures the structural components and integrates them with all of the other subsystems to undergo testing, and ultimately launch. This semester the team is finalizing the design, manufacturing and anodizing, designing the separation switch system, thermal control system, and integrating the final satellite and any test models.

Team Roster

  • Mohammad Shaive Reza (Team Lead)
  • Luke Gordon
  • Ola Carnahan
  • Kyle Caponi
  • Cameron Schuetz
  • Alfin Koshy

                                                   From the left: Cameron Schuetz, Alfin Koshy, Luke Gordon, Kyle Caponi, Mohammad S Reza, Ola Carnahan

Current State

The team has completed Thermal and Structural (static and vibration) Analysis of the satellite prior to final fabrication to ensure the structure can manage all forces involved in launch and space environments. Design for the parts are finalized and the fabrication is in progress. Parts are sent for hard anodization as per the requirements from NanoRacks. One of the crucial tasks that the structure team performs is making changes in the model to make sure other co-dependent components co-ordinate accordingly with new changes and updating the Safety Data Template weekly to provide NanoRacks with most recent updates. The team is frequently working with the Comms & Regulation and Electronics teams to ensure solar arrays are fabricated to the needs of CySat-1’s power budget and all modules are successfully integrated.


  • Manufacture parts
  • Run a fit-check on post fabricated parts
  • Send Fabricated parts to Liberty Anodizing for hard anodization
  • Help setting up an anti-static clean room for integration
  • Schedule appointment with Nanoracks and Univesity of Michigan for vibration test
  • Create documentation on the integration process for the summer team
  • Assemble the structure by the end of June
  • Update safety data templates as needed


  • Flight ready structure
  • Documentation on integrating all parts into CySAT-1

Team Goal

  • A flight-ready structure by the end of the semester


The team has made great progress on the overall project as well as within themselves. Structure team has accomplished all of the tasks successfully throughout the semester on time and because of that, we are closer than ever to build the first CubeSat in ISU. All of this is possible because of the team member’s dedication, hard work, and never giving up attribute toward the project. The structure team has designed a 3D model that passed the Structural analysis. The team is very close to finishing the fabrication of the parts. The team has also troubleshot problems created by the lack of communication between teams previously by building a continuous communication system between teams with the help of project lead. Documentation for assembling the structure of the satellite is in progress for the summer team. The structure team has finalized the models which include stationing of the electrical components, adding PCB boards, make cutouts for wiring, layout for solar arrays. Structure team has also kept the safety data template, the bill of materials and ODAR up to date. The team is now setting up an appointment for the final vibration test from where the flight ready cube satellite will be handed off to NanoRacks.

Looking Back

It has been a productive semester for structure team. All of us has learned how to work effectively in teams. The team along with the other subteam has followed one common theme throughout this semester and that is “Trust but verify”. One of the other lessons the members have learned is the importance of communications inside the team and between subteams. Only if the structure team has given importance on documenting everything from the beginning, the project would have been completed earlier than projected. It will be a piece of advice to all future teams that, no matter how small the changes are, proper documentation should be created otherwise the time and effort spent on the changes will be in vain. Overall experience earned this semester from this team is enormous and will help the team members significantly on their leadership and decision making skills.

What’s Next

Due to the deadline of the end of June, team members from the structure team will be working on the project this summer. In this period of time, the team will make sure that everything is recorded for documentation and every team is communication with each other. Structure team will be providing help to other teams in order to deliver the first-ever CubeSat made by ISU M.2.I students.