Electronics Engineering in CubeSat and Small Satellite Systems - NanoAvionics

Electronics Engineering in CubeSat and Small Satellite Systems

Blog
  • 2024-01-12

Satellite electronics engineering, particularly in CubeSat and small satellite systems, encompasses everything from power management circuits and communication modules to onboard processors and sensor interfaces. As the backbone of CubeSat and small satellite manufacturing and operations, electronics engineering ensures reliable data transmission, efficient power distribution, and precise control mechanisms, all crucial for a satellite’s success in orbit.

Electronics Design for CubeSats and Small Satellites

Electronics design in CubeSat and small satellite systems involves selecting appropriate electronic components, designing circuit boards, and ensuring reliable and efficient electrical connections. Attention to detail minimizes signal degradation, electromagnetic interference, and power-related issues in CubeSats and small satellites. The electronics design phase also includes rigorous testing and verification procedures that are critical in satellite development.

Subsystem and Communication Interface Configuration in CubeSat and Small Satellite Electronics

Subsystem and communication interface configuration ensures the physical integration and interconnection of the various subsystems within a CubeSat or small satellite. Electronics Engineers plan and execute cable routing, determine connectors and interfaces, and provide proper grounding and shielding to minimize electromagnetic interference in CubeSat and small satellite systems.

Electrical Wiring in CubeSat and Small Satellite Systems

Even small CubeSats can have hundreds of meters of wiring running between their payload and components. This calls for some extreme cable management, considering the limited volume of space available in CubeSats and small satellites. A wiring harness needs to account for how different types of cables intersect, how they are grounded and fixated, optimize each cable’s length and thickness, and maintain proper bend radius. This ensures all satellite electrical systems are wired together correctly and allows smooth subsystem and customer payload integration.

Solar Panel Design for CubeSats and Small Satellites

Optimizing solar panel design, the primary source of power for CubeSats and small satellites, ensures maximum energy conversion efficiency and power generation throughout the satellite’s mission. The design phase for CubeSats and small satellite solar panels carefully considers factors such as solar cell technology, power generation variability, and the effects of atomic oxygen in Low Earth Orbit.

Radiofrequency Simulations and Engineering in CubeSat and Small Satellite Systems

Radiofrequency Engineering in CubeSats and small satellites deals with the design and optimization of communication links. RF simulations in CubeSat and small satellite systems help determine the appropriate antenna design and placement, radiation patterns, transmission frequency, signal strength, and modulation schemes. RF Engineers are responsible for efficient communication between the satellite and ground stations.

Subsystem Inspection and Testing in CubeSat and Small Satellite Manufacturing

Subsystem inspection in CubeSat and small satellite manufacturing involves thorough visual and functional examinations to identify possible manufacturing defects or anomalies. System-level integration tests for CubeSats and small satellites verify the proper functioning of all subsystems together through environmental and EMC tests. The testing phase allows engineers to address any issues and fine-tune the satellite before it embarks on its mission into space.