The Satellite Bus Platform part of the course will include three online modules, complemented by classroom tutorials. In each lecture, the technology is discussed on a component level. The working principles of the components will be explained as well as their relation to the subsystem requirements and constraints. Topics treated by this part of the course are:
Onboard Command and Data Handling (specifications of (micro)processors; commonly used data interfaces within spacecraft; radiation effects on processors and methods to deal with them; operational scheduling; Failure Detection, Isolation & Recovery).
Electrical Power Technology (selection and implementation of photovoltaic cells; different types of power conversion and distribution methods; battery technology; common failure modes and protection).
Attitude Determination and Control (general principles of sensing and actuation in space; types and basic principles of ADCS algorithms; working principles, design, types and characteristics of: sun sensors, magnetometers, star trackers, gyroscopes, reaction wheels, magnetorquers, etc.)
Structures & Deployables (structural concepts; structural materials; deployment mechanisms).
Thermal Control (passive thermal control; active and passive thermal components).
In the Rocket & Onboard Propulsion part of the course, the emphasis is on theory applied to technology. Also in this part there will be three online modules, complemented by classroom tutorials. Topics treated by this part of the course are:
Applied Theory (fundamentals of rocket propulsion, main performance parameters of rockets and thrusters, ideal rocket theory basics and equations, types of propulsion, are recalled and applied to real-life cases).
Liquid Propellant Engines (types of engines, types of propellants, nozzle design, real performance estimation).
Solid Propellant Engines (types of solid propellant grains, ignition and burning characteristics of the propellant, real performance estimation).
Electric and Advanced Propulsion (basics of electric propulsion theory, types of electric thrusters, components and characteristics of an electric propulsion subsystem, advanced propulsion concepts).
Micro-Propulsion (available micro-propulsion options, propulsion system scaling-down criteria and challenges, specific propulsion requirements and performance needs in nano-satellites, micro-machining of nozzles, heaters and feeding system components).
In the CubeSat Design Workshop, students will form groups of 5-7 members and work at a CubeSat design problem, starting from mission description as input, up to a pre-phase A concept. When possible, they have to select commercially available subsystems and components. Only if necessary, new to be developed technologies will be explained and sized. There will be in-class or online sessions, during which the groups will work at their conceptual study and deliver a short report with an overview of selected technologies, budgets, timeline and explanation/justification of the choices made. This report will be reviewed and commented by the instructors, thus making the first design iteration for the team. During the final session, all groups will present their solution to the others, followed by a general discussion. The groups will then write an additional 1-2 page addendum, in which they will critically compare their own design to those proposed by other groups.