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Satellite Design for Undergraduate Senior Capstone

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Capstone Design

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1067.1 - 24.1067.27



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Paper Authors


Joseph Thomas Emison Taylor University

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Joseph Emison is a Senior Engineering Physics Major at Taylor University. From spring 2013 to present he has served as the Project Engineer and VLF/E-Field Sensing Lead of the Taylor University ELEO-Sat nanosatellite in the Air Force Research Lab's University Nanosatellite Program competition. Joseph will graduate in December 2014 and eager to continue doing research, whether in graduate school or industry.

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Kate Yoshino Taylor University

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Kate Yoshino is a junior at Taylor University studying Engineering Physics. Currently, she serves as the Project Manager for Taylor University's Extremely Low Earth Orbit Nanosatellite (ELEO-Sat). Kate is responsible for team management, stakeholder communication, schedules, and programmatic budgeting. Additionally, she is responsible for community and educational outreach and the development of one of ELEO's primary sensors (Langmuir Probe).

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Stephen Edward Straits Taylor University

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STEPHEN STRAITS is an undergraduate student in Engineering Physics at Taylor University, with a focus on mechanical and systematic engineering. He is currently the Lead Mechanical Engineer for ELEO-Sat and has contributed to the design of TSAT and GEARR-Sat. He will be graduated May 2014.

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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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Undergraduate ELEOsat Design for Senior CapstoneThe Extremely Low Earth Orbit Nanosatellite (ELEOsat) is a CubeSat predominantly designedby undergraduate students for the Air Force’s eighth University Nanosat Program (UNP-8)competition and as a part of a senior ABET capstone course. Each of the 10 universities in thecompetition is provided with $110k over two years to cover the costs of their satellite. Studentsattend conferences and workshops, and present to Air Force and industry reviewers as a part ofthe competition. Assessment is based on the results of internal reviews by professors andexternal reviews by the Air Force, aerospace engineering professionals, and ABET. The responseto accepted ASEE papers and posters at the regional and national level will also be integratedinto program assessment. Student learning and project development are primarily mentorshipbased. Students lead the project under the guidance of professors, government officials andprofessional engineers. The community working on the project includes undergraduate studentsacross multiple disciplines including Engineering Physics, Computer Engineering,Environmental Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, Elementary Education, Business,and Accounting as well as high school students considering STEM careers. The final competitionreview will take place in January of 2015. Satellites selected on the basis of technical readinessand military relevance will receive additional time and funding to prepare for future non-competitive reviews including the flight readiness review.The ELEO region (120-300 km region) is a relatively unexplored region of space is important inunderstanding radiation belt dynamics, ionospheric physics, and the global electric circuit.ELEOsat is a predominantly in-house and undergraduate developed nanosatellite that is ideal forELEO research. The ELEOsat utilizes flight heritage from previous satellites, and includes newfeatures to improve understanding of the ionosphere and open up the door to further studies inthe region. The aerodynamic design of the ELEOsat will allow it to probe space weather whiledemonstrating some new technologies. ELEOsat will make detailed VLF wave and energeticparticle measurements in the low-altitude ionosphere where earth-magnetosphere VLF couplingis not understood and precipitating flux signal-to-noise is very high. Instruments include twocoincidence energetic particle spectrometers, a dual log plasma probe, a two-axis VLFspectrometer, a two-axis electric field probe, a retarding potential accelerator analyzer, a Geigercounter, UV photodiodes, and a COTS magnetometer. Scientific measurements will be providedto experts in the space weather field to improve VLF transionospheric propagation and VLF-LEPcoupling models. Data will also be used by students to improve engineering models including in-house developed free-molecular aerodynamics simulations and thermal models. Technologydemonstrations include: a real time satellite command/data link to the Globalstar network,wireless GSE for testing, an aerodynamic chassis, and external deployable booms. AerodynamicELEOsat has a high mass/area ratio to significantly increase lifetime in ELEO orbits. It willprovide an unprecedented observation platform in the relatively unexplored lower atmosphereand ionosphere. Solar array Solar Solar Solar 1 2 3 .) G Co-ax en ph te Ribbon cable-4 Ribbon cable-5 Ribbon cable-5 (S 20cmx34cm e (not to scale) Copper ul 5x4 od Co-ax 2 Co-ax wire rm 2? s o 1? 1? es K-12 Geiger module VLF & E-field module Solar and UV module Student Langmuir Instrument watchdog ocMagnetometer (Colin) SSD module (Tyler) RPA module (Adam) pr (Kate) (Tom) (michael) probe (Kate) (blake) t en um s tr Connect Block Diagram Header Header Header Header Header Header Header able-? In Payload side bon c 4 ? 4 10 9 9 ? ? EPS (Blake) Rib Payload side interface module (Joe) System Layout and Interface Ribbon cable-? Globalstar ground station 32 GSE (Joe) Open flow region Internet Digital bus ribbon cable-? Analog “quiet” bus ribbon cable-? 32 32 Zigbee Charging and Diagnostics diagnostics port equipment Bus side interface module (Joe) 3 5 9 6 4 EPS (Blake) Co-ax Co-ax Co-ax Header Header Header Header Header Displays (Joe) Ribbon cable-34 2 2 Fl High aoltage module Boom switching Solar and UV module Heritage Langmuir ig Chassis: Stephen S. GPS module (Colin) Comm module (Colin) ht 6? (Adam) module (Tom) (michael) probe op er Database at Copper Server parsing engine (Joe) io n Bus side wire sm od ul e 3-axis magnetorquer (Colin) Co-ax 8 Ribbon cable-4 Ribbon cable-5 Ribbon cable-5 Boom release Solar Solar Solar 4 5 6 Solar array

Emison, J. T., & Yoshino, K., & Straits, S. E., & Voss, H. D. (2014, June), Satellite Design for Undergraduate Senior Capstone Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23000

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