• April 19th, 2016


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Satellite Design Discussion Questions

You are to complete (as best as possible) the answers to the following questions regarding the design and operation of your assigned satellite. Use of internet resources is encouraged. In completing the questions if you use an Internet resource you must show the site address as part of the answer.

Explain the overall spacecraft systems and operation,

What is the name of the satellite? When was it launched
Outline the major purpose of the satellite.
List major elements of satellite payload.
Who owns the satellite?
Who operates the satellite?
Who built the satellite?
Outline the role/locations of user segment, ground segment, and mission control.
Which launch vehicle was used for the launch?
What was unique configuration of the vehicle for this launch?
Where was launch site and what launch pad was used?
Who was launch agency and launch contractor?
Where was the satellite manufactured? How was the satellite moved from the manufacturing facility to the launch site?
What ground processing facilities were used at the launch site?
What orbit is the satellite in?
How did it achieve this orbit?
What is this orbit required for this satellite?
What were the launch window constraints?
If the satellite has a commercial product, how is that product distributed and what is the cost?
If the satellite is for scientific research, what contribution does it make to our scientific knowledge?

Describe operations of the spacecraft control systems,

List control systems used (main computer, GNC, Attitude Control).
Explain main satellite computer architecture, functions and interfaces.
Explain GNC (guidance, navigation and control) systems.
Explain attitude control systems and define/describe sensor systems used in attitude control.

Describe Command and Data Handling Systems,

List components and function.
Describe data handling (multiplex and demultiplex, encoding, etc.).
Describe use of transducers and sensors.
Explain Data storage requirements and components.

Describe Spacecraft Electrical Systems,

Which power supplies are used?
If solar cells outline power output, size of array, number of cells etc. If RTG/Fuel cells describe physical dimensions and power output and where located on satellite.
Explain types of battery used (primary/secondary) (NiCad, AgZn, etc.); Construction Voltage and capacity relationships; Servicing operations.
Outline the power distribution system and describe components within the system.

Describe rocket propulsion system used,

What kind of propulsion system is used?
Outline the components of the system.
Identify rocket propellants used.

Describe any hydraulics/pneumatics systems that are used,

Identify components and explain their functions in different systems.
Define pressures and tank volume requirements.

Describe satellite structure,

What is the basic overall configuration of the satellite?
What material is the satellite structure made out of?

Describe any deployable structures or electro mechanical systems used,

Breakdown individual components and uses (motors, limit switches, torque converters, etc.).

Describe any pyrotechnic devices used,

Identify typical pyrotechnic devices and explain their uses.
Explain firing and test circuit requirements for pyrotechnic devices.

Describe Thermal Control systems used,

Identify requirements for heating, ventilation and air conditioning prior to launch.
Explain requirements for thermal control while in space.
Outline types of thermal control, Active (cooling systems, etc), Passive (thermal blankets, etc).

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