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Pre-flight qualification test procedure for nanosatellites using sounding rockets

Abstract : This work presents an innovative procedure to test nanosatellites subsystems on board sounding rockets. The procedure allows the subsystems to save their telemetry data during the whole rocket flight phases (including at the rocket lift-off). The subsystems of the FloripaSat (1U CubeSat) engineering model have been tested on board a VSB-30 rocket in order to validate their design and integration process. A dedicated embedded system has been proposed to operate as an electronic interface between the nanosatellite subsystems and the rocket electronics. Also, a system to process telemetry data was implemented on the ground station. The test procedure validates data frame definition, communication protocol specification, hardware integration specification, among other functionalities. Three FloripaSat subsystems have been tested: Electrical Power Subsystem (EPS); Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C); and On Board Data Handling (OBDH). Several nanosatellites’ functions have been evaluated, including: battery monitoring; inertial measurement unit; temperature measurements; radio transceiver; and beacon. The flight results were considerably different from the results obtained at the laboratory. This has allowed important modifications to be made on the design of the CubeSat flight model as the revision on the radio circuit on TT&C and the implementation of an external battery charger circuit for the EPS.
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Contributor : Luigi Dilillo <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 3, 2020 - 11:15:01 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 4:16:03 PM


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Leonardo Kessler Slongo, João Reis, Daniel Gaiki, Pedro von Hohendorff Seger, Sara Vega Martinez, et al.. Pre-flight qualification test procedure for nanosatellites using sounding rockets. Acta Astronautica, Elsevier, 2019, 159, pp.564-577. ⟨10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.01.035⟩. ⟨lirmm-02008287⟩



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