Research Summaries

Back Spacecraft Systems

Fiscal Year 2014
Division Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science
Department Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Investigator(s) Agrawal, Jr., Brij N.
Sponsor Secretary of the Air Force/FMBIB-AFOY (Air Force)
Summary The objective of the Spacecraft Systems Project is the development and operation of laboratories for the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Space Systems Engineering curriculum. The laboratories are used for course work, thesis work and novel research. One of the strengths of NPS is the quality of its laboratories and the hands-on learning opportunities they provide. The Spacecraft Systems Project has fostered the development of five state of the art spacecraft laboratories at NPS and has enabled their continuous operation. This project primarily supports FLTSATCOM Laboratory, Spacecraft Design Laboratory and Spacecraft Design Projects. Under Spacecraft Design Projects, students perform preliminary spacecraft design for small satellites in low earth orbits for missions defined by DoD sponsors. For FY 2011 and FY 2012, students did preliminary design of SIGNIT spacecraft in low earth orbit with spacecraft mass around 500 kg. This activity supports future NRO/DoD missions. These activities are purely instructional. Other laboratories are supported primarily by other research projects.
In FY13, work continued in the FLTSATCOM laboratory to make the new ground station system operational. The FLTSATCOM power system sustained minor damage during an unexpected base-wide power outage in mid-2012. The power system was modified to include a new external monitor of system bus power. The RT Logic T505S telemetry processor front end was modified by RT Logic and received in late CY12. The front end was reinstalled in the FLTSATCOM lab. Installation and debugging of the T505S continued into CY13. The system was brought to a near fully operational state to include telemetry receipt and partial command transmittal. FLTSATCOM was used for instructing students on spacecraft operations during the 2013 Spring Quarter for the course AE3870 Computational Tools for Spacecraft Design.
Update and maintenance of the Spacecraft Design Lab continued in FY13. The CY12 base-wide power outage also damaged the SDL server hosting the IDEA CDC database. This database was migrated to a location on the NPS network and the IDEA CDC software was updated to interface with the new installation. SDL furniture improvements were completed with procurement of 15 desks. Three new high powered workstations were rotated into the lab in FY13 and a new color printer was purchased to replace the failing older model.
Student coursework and thesis use of Spacecraft Systems Project supported labs was high in CY13. Labs supported by Spacecraft Systems Project funds were used for research by 4 MS students and 2 PhD students. Spacecraft Systems Project supported labs were used in a number of courses, including: AE3870 Spacecraft Design Tools, AE4870 Spacecraft Design I, AE4871 Spacecraft Design II, AE3811 Space System Laboratory, AE4816 Dynamics and Control of Flexible Structures, AE2820 Spacecraft Structures, AE3804 Thermal Control of Spacecraft, AE4830 Spacecraft System I, AE4831 Spacecraft System II, and AE4818 Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing of Military Spacecraft.
The Spacecraft Design Project is solely supported by the Spacecraft Systems Project (Course series AE3870 Spacecraft Design Tools, AE4870 Spacecraft Design I and AE4871 Spacecraft Design II). For 2013, the students are working on a Synthetic Aperture Radar design. The frequency band is X, swath width is >200km, mass <500kg, and cost is restricted to under $250M. Design life is 1.5 years. Students have finalized the requirements and have performed preliminary payload design. The final review will be held on September 11, 2013.
During FY14, Spacecraft Systems funding will continue to support the Spacecraft Design Project as well as maintenance and operation of the Spacecraft Design Lab. Spacecraft Systems funded work will continue in the FLTSATCOM lab to make it fully operational. Spacecraft Systems funding will ensure spacecraft systems laboratories within the Spacecraft Research and Design Center at NPS continue to operate as premier educational laboratories. The spacecraft design project will be selected in consultation with the sponsor to support the mission objectives of the sponsor. These activities will continue in FY15.
Keywords Spacecraft Design, Automated Design, Optical Beam Control, and Spacecraft Attitude Control
Publications Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal
Data Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal