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Testing of Small Satellite Systems and Impact on Engineering Curriculum

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

SED Technical Session: Applications

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

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Paper Authors


Odon M. Musimbi Metropolitan State University of Denver Orcid 16x16

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Odon M. Musimbi, PhD.
Assistant Professor,
Metropolitan State University of Denver

PhD, Engineering (Mechanical), Colorado School of Mines(2011)
MS, Engineering Systems, Colorado School of Mines(2011)
Diploma, Mechanical Engineer, University of Kinshasa (1994)

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Julio Proano Metropolitan State University of Denver

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My name is Julio Proano, Ph.D., I am assistant professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, having finished my Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, I worked for NASA at a Satellite Tracking Station in Ecuador Subsequently I obtained my M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. My Ph.D. dissertation work (on Neural Networks applied to control systems and automation) went to the DOD in Virginia.
My formal graduate academic training was in Control Systems, Telecommunications and Applied Mathematics. After receiving my Masters and Ph.D. degrees in EE, I joined AT&T Bell Laboratories.
During my tenure at Bell Labs, I became skilled in the formal methodology and processes of Systems Engineering and Systems Architecture applied to large systems. Throughout my career, in the high-tech semiconductor and telecommunications industries, I worked in the following technologies: Mobile phone integrated systems, high-speed optical/copper LAN/WAN Ethernet, Storage Area Networks, Optical Transmission Networks, IP telephony, Cable-TV, Cable Networks architectures, Analog Broadcast Video, Voice/Data Network, Hard Disk Drive technology, etc.
I am co-inventor of nine US patents, and I have an additional US patent application pending, the areas of invention include Optical networks, Storage Area Networks (SAN), SONET, Ethernet, and Hard Disk Drives/read-channel technologies, etc.
Four years ago I joined the faculty of the Metropolitan State University and I have developed curriculum for the following courses: Digital Signal Processing, Very-large-scale Integration Circuit Analysis, Electromagnetic Fields, Electronics, [Mathematical] Transform Methods for Electrical Circuits, Process Control Systems, Programmable Logic Controllers, Hardware Description Language, Introduction to Engineering, Robotics.

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The aerospace systems field has recently been attracting more and more interest. The scope of activities in this area includes vehicles for space exploration, communication, tourism and national security. This trend is expected to increase across the country since there is a strategic focus on space at all levels, military, academic and commercial. This focus has materialized recently by the initiative of the Federal Government to create a separate branch of the military called Space in addition to the traditional branches of the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, the Army and the National Guard. With this trend, demand for research, construction, testing and launch of space vehicles is expected to escalate rapidly. More and higher-level expertise will be needed for manufacturing and testing of the space vehicles in general and specifically for small satellites. Small satellites are defined as space vehicles in the range of 50-500 lb (23-230 kg). Although small, these satellites are useful in a number of applications and require moderate size equipment for their testing. The current emphasis in the engineering education includes the manufacturing of such systems and the testing of this equipment to ensure they sustain the launching phase. While some universities are already well positioned in the manufacturing side of these small satellites, there is an opportunity for many others to have their students and faculty engage in the multidisciplinary testing aspects of these vehicles. Stakeholders from such collaboration include the university, the industry, the faculty and the students as well as the community. The following paper describes the collaborative frame being put in place by our university to address these needs and the anticipated impact on the curriculum. The specific needs are in the design, the advanced manufacturing, the dynamics, and vibration testing of these small satellite aerospace systems.

Musimbi, O. M., & Proano, J. (2019, June), Testing of Small Satellite Systems and Impact on Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33365

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