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Nano-satellites and HARP for Student Learning and Research

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Aerospace Technical Session 3

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1181.1 - 26.1181.32



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Paper Authors


Hank D Voss Taylor University

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Dr. Hank D. Voss received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois in 1977. He then worked for Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratories prior to coming to Taylor University in 1994. He is currently a Professor of Engineering and Physics at Taylor University. Some of the courses that he regularly has taught include Principles of Engineering, Intro to Electronics, Statics, Advanced Electronics, Jr. Engineering Projects, FE Review, Control Systems, Fundamentals of Space Flight Systems, Astronomy, and Sr. Capstone Sequence. He enjoys mentoring undergraduate students in aerospace, sensors, and energy-related research projects. Some of the research areas include spacecraft nano-satellite technologies, satellite payload instrumentation, High Altitude research Platform (HARP) experiments, wave particle interactions in space, spaceflight X-ray imagers, construction and renewable energy engineering and architecture, and philosophy of science. Dr. Voss has worked as PI on many NASA, Air Force, Navy, NSF, and DOE research grants and has published over 120 scientific papers.

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Jeff F Dailey

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Mr. Jeff Dailey is Chief Scientist at NearSpace Launch Inc. (NSL). He has launched over 350 balloons with Taylor University and has developed three CubeSats with two of them now successfully launched and missions completed on orbit. Mr. Dailey has worked previously at Taylor University as a Research Engineer. Currently he is the Chief Engineer at NSL developing High Altitude Research Platform (HARP) balloon sensors and tracking systems and is also developing small satellite subsystems for universities and government agencies. He has developed a new 24/7 satellite data communication network that is FCC approved and demonstrated in orbit.

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William A Bauson Taylor University

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Mr. Bill Bauson received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1982 and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from General Motors Engineering and Management Institute / Kettering University in 1980. He spent 34 years working at Delphi Electronics and Safety in various engineering and management capacities. His experience at Delphi included machine vision systems, factory automation, automotive active safety and collision avoidance systems, radar/vision/thermal sensors for automotive safety, and integrated circuit manufacturing. After working at Delphi, he spent four years as a volunteer missionary in Zambia, Africa. His work in Zambia included finances, construction management, teaching, and managing a door/window manufacturing facility. He is currently the Lab Resource Manager in the Physics and Engineering department at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.

Bill enjoys many hobbies, including family activities, church leadership, music performance (playing piano, guitar, or banjo), video production, computers, electronic design, cosmology, camping, fishing, running, and cycling.

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Bill Chapman Taylor University

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Dr. Bill Chapman is Associate Professor and Director of Systems at Taylor University. He is also involved with the nano-satellite senior design project as an advisor. Prior to that he worked for 34 years at Raytheon Missile Systems in various systems engineering and chief engineering roles. He retired as the Director of Technology and Research.
His primary research area is Systems Theory. He has published over 20 papers, authored 2 text books and received 4 patents.

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Nano-satellites and HARP for Student Learning and ResearchUniversity small satellites are now routinely launched into space with the NASA ELaNaprogram, the AFOSR UNP program, and the NSF CubeSat program. As part of these programsundergraduate students have developed several small satellites and many High Altitude ResearchPlatform (HARP) balloon experiments. Over 325 HARP balloons and two satellites have beensuccessfully launched over the past decade. Student outcomes include augmenting ABETobjectives a-k, new ways of enhancing STEM education outreach, undergraduate research andpublications, and internships and jobs. Our 2012-2013 Senior Capstone class helped create thedual-cube nano-satellite, TSAT, with space weather instrumentation. TSAT was launched on aSpace-X rocket from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 18, 2014and was released as an autonomous satellite at 325 km altitude. The class structure, pedagogy,assessments, and outcomes indicate the effectiveness of advanced student challenges that inspirebut do require significant support from faculty and staff. A number of student papers, posters,competitions, industry design reviews, and professional documentation are other importantdistinctive.The recent 2013-2015 Capstone class is developing with Air Force funding a new type of 6-cubesatellite to investigate the Extremely-Low-Earth-Orbit (ELEO) region using an aerodynamicnano-satellite design that can probe space weather while demonstrating some new technologies.It will provide an observation platform in the relatively unexplored atmosphere and ionosphere120-300 km region. Technology demonstrations include: unfolding aerodynamic solar arraystructure, a motor retractable carbon fiber boom (3m) with sensors located on booms, a new realtime satellite-to-satellite command/data link using the Globalstar network, a new analog-digitalFPGA microchip sensor processor, and a flight GPS receiver. Aerodynamic ELEO-Sat has ahigh mass/area ratio to significantly increase lifetime in ELEO. Drag is increased at highaltitudes with the quad boom release mechanism. ELEO is ideal for ISS missions at 425 kmusing the Nanoracks deployer. A Test Particle Monte Carlo software program was developedfrom first principles to successfully calculate drag forces and torques in the quasi collisionlessELEO atmosphere.To prepare students for advanced satellite projects the HARP balloon launches serve to introducereal end-to-end flight opportunities to study the upper atmosphere (up to 32 km) and test flightsensors, mechanisms, and bus systems. To help other small universities and colleges toimplement a nano-satellite or HARP program three spinoff companies have been stated over thepast few years for purchasing complete HARP turnkey systems, purchasing express launchservice, or satellite communication and power system products. The ability for students to meetdeadlines, appreciate system integration delays, understand subsystem sensor calibrations,observe software faults, recognize reliability issues, grow from failures, and properly interpretand display real data are some of the HARP benefits. HARP assessment data is presented thatwas funded by an NSF grant.

Voss, H. D., & Dailey, J. F., & Bauson, W. A., & Chapman, B. (2015, June), Nano-satellites and HARP for Student Learning and Research Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24518

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