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Billikensat 1 – Saint Louis University’s First Cubesat Design

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Integrative Projects in Aerospace Engineering

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.274.1 - 11.274.13



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Paper Authors


Sanjay Jayaram St. Louis University

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Dr. Sanjay Jayaram is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department at Saint Louis University. His research interests include Autonomous Control System Design for ground and planetary vehicles, Robust and Adaptive Control.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

BILLIKENSAT 1 – Saint Louis University’s First Cubesat Design


Billikensat 1 is the first multi-disciplinary Senior Capstone Spacecraft Design project at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology involving Aerospace, Electrical and Computer Engineering undergraduate students. This project was initiated as a part of Senior Capstone Design course in August 2005. The fundamental purpose for the BillikenSat project is twofold. First, it will provide the participating undergraduate students with practical experience in the design and construction / integration of a real space mission. Second, it will reinforce interest and support for space mission designs within the Aerospace Engineering program, Parks College, and the broader Saint Louis University community. It also has the potential for outreach program at the K-12 level. This paper gives an overall view of the current status of design and implementation process of various spacecraft subsystems. This paper also discusses the multidisciplinary nature of the project, its relevance to ABET criteria, and the integration of undergraduate research opportunities.


Small satellites can accomplish many missions and functions that their larger counterparts achieve, but at a fraction of the cost and design time, making them excellent for students involved satellite designs, remote sensing, quick-response science missions, novel communication networks, component evaluation, and technology demonstrations. Small Satellite Design offers excellent opportunities for undergraduate students to learn as a motivating example, the process of interdisciplinary system design and integration, which are closely related to the industry practices. In order to comply with the limited time frame of a study curriculum, California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) has initiated and developed a program named “CubeSat” to meet the needs of a satellite design in the two-semester sequence for Senior Design course curriculum. While the CubeSat program levies certain design constraints on the satellite, it provides realistically priced launch services specifically intended for University customers, and is the only option that works with the senior capstone design timeline.

Therefore, to maximize support for space and student learning, this project intends to design, build, and launch a satellite under the guidelines of the California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) CubeSat Program. The primary mission objective of this small satellite will be to: Conduct remote observations of the Earth, including – but not necessarily limited to – visual wavelength images. A possible secondary objective could consist of on-orbit demonstration of sponsored micro-satellite technology.

Senior students from Electrical Engineering department are designing, fabricating, and testing the necessary electronic subsystems of the satellite. Senior students in Aerospace Engineering department are simulating thermal conditions the BillikenSat1 will experience, as well as analyzing and testing structural components, and Senior Computer Engineering students are

Jayaram, S. (2006, June), Billikensat 1 – Saint Louis University’s First Cubesat Design Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1149

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