Novel Engineering Blog

NASA CubeQuest Challenge June 2015 Update

Team Space Pig has been busy developing its navigation and attitude control system, communication system, propulsion system, simulation, solar power system, high-level system architecture, and collecting pieces for future incorporation into the satellite.

Recent Progress on required items for GT1

System Architecture

The team members responsible for each system have collaborated to identify system dependencies, and are completing tasks for each system to assure completion of GT1 tasks by the deadline.

Delta V/Nav/Orbit

Team members have all the information necessary to determine the handoff trajectory. They are running simulations in a space format requested by NASA. They have a model established and verified, and are deriving a precise number for delta V (which will give the required weight of the propellant). Estimated 80% complete.

Navigation/Attitude Control

Team members have a pointing and navigation conceptual design established. A model for spin correction, then precise and agile attitude control, has been established. Currently, propulsion team members are utilizing industry standards to calculate the necessary propellant amount. Controls team members have also established a system for high-level in-orbit attitude control, to fixate upon the antenna’s target. Estimated 80% complete.


The preliminary design of the propulsive system is near completion. A system is established that is expected to meet a demanding range of spin and orbital correction requirements. Testing procedures have been discussed, and designers are matching requirements to simulations. Estimated 80% complete.

CubeSat Disposal

Team Space Pig is designing their CubeSat to deorbit deeper into space, or fall into a graveyard orbit. This will most likely spend the remaining propellant, so this task will be addressed after all the others. Estimated 80% complete.

Communication System

Communications team members have attained detailed technology specifications from its suppliers, who are sponsoring the antenna for our CubeSat. Having collected this data, the team is verifying the theoretical applications empirically, then determining the gain/loss data required to further develop the communication system.

Project Management

We are working to collect artifacts and document action items from team meetings for scheduling management. Team members have been held to deadlines to meet their goals well before GT1.

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