Resource efficient process chain development of a modular CubeSat spaceframe

Oberholzer, Johannes Francois (2018-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Southern African Amateur Radio Satellite Association (SA AMSAT) is designing and manufacturing an amateur satellite based on the CubeSat design. The mission of SA AMSAT is to provide Radio Amateurs in Southern Africa with access to a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite on as many of the available passes as possible. Rather than acquiring a CubeSat from an established company, they have decided to manufacture the entire satellite themselves and have reached out to the Stellenbosch University to help improve on their current spaceframe prototype. A CubeSat is a 10×10×10 cm cube that can weigh up to 1.33 kg. This design offers a less expensive alternative for space enthusiasts to explore the cosmos, even though the total weight is very limited. For a CubeSat to be allowed to launch, it must adhere to certain specifications outlined in the CubeSat Design Specifications document. This places several restrictions on the satellite in terms of weight, size and centre of gravity, and innovative solutions needs to be explored during integration to meet these specifications. Having a spaceframe that can easily be assembled and disassembled will help smooth out the integration stage and save a lot of time that can now be allocated elsewhere in the development stages. The increasing relevance of resource efficient manufacturing is prevalent through the continually rising costs of resources and energy. In order to stay competitive, one must develop resource efficient process chains to gain an advantage in the market. This study focused on developing a resource efficient process chain to manufacture a modular CubeSat spaceframe. This spaceframe must adhere to the CubeSat Design Specifications, as well as meet all of the customer’s needs. A unique assembly process was designed that eliminated the need for screws structure together. Instead the spaceframe relies on interference fits, and utilizes the unique deployment method of the P-POD to ensure that the assembly does not fail. A material selection procedure was utilized, along with resource efficient manufacturing process chains to develop a CubeSat structure that was very cost effective to produce, was easily assembled and disassembled and weighed less than most of the market leading CubeSat structures.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse Amateur Radio Satelliet Vereniging (SA AMSAT) is in die proses om ‘n amateur satellite, wat gebaseer is op die CubeSat ontwerp, te vervaardig. Die missie van SA AMSAT is om Radio-amateurs in Suider-Afrika te voorsien met toegang tot 'n Lae Omwnteling (LEO) Satelliet. In plaas daarvan om 'n CubeSat by 'n gevestigde maatskappy te verkry, het hulle besluit om die hele satelliet self te vervaardig en het die Universiteit Stellenbosch genader om te help met die vervaardiging van die vlugraam. 'n CubeSat is 'n 10 × 10 × 10 cm kubus wat tot en met 1.33 kg kan weeg. Hierdie ontwerp bied 'n goedkoper alternatief vir toegang tot die ruimte, alhoewel die totale gewig baie beperk is. Voordat 'n CubeSat toegelaat moet word om deel te neem aan ‘n ruimtevlug, moet dit voldoen aan sekere spesifikasies soos uiteengesit in die CubeSat-ontwerpspesifikasiedokument. Dit plaas verskeie beperkings op die satelliet in terme van gewig, grootte en swaartepuntposisie, en innoverende oplossings moet tydens die integrasie proses ondersoek word om aan hierdie spesifikasies te voldoen. As jy 'n vlugraam het wat maklik ann mekaar gesit en uitmekaar gehaal kan word, sal die integrasie proses glad verloop en baie tyd bespaar wat nou elders in die ontwikkelingsfases toegewy kan word. Die toenemende relevansie van hulpbron-doeltreffende vervaardiging kom voor deur die koste van hulpbronne en energie wat voortdurend styg. Om mededingend te bly moet 'n mens hulpbron-effektiewe proseskettings ontwikkel om 'n voordeel in die mark te verkry. Hierdie studie het gefokus op die ontwikkeling van 'n hulpbron-doeltreffende prosesketting om 'n modulêre CubeSat-vlugraam te vervaardig. Hierdie raam moet voldoen aan al die CubeSat-ontwerpspesifikasies, asook aan al die behoeftes van die kliënt. 'n Unieke metode is ontwerp wat die behoefte aan skroewe vir die aan mekaar sit van die struktuur uitskakel. In plaas daarvan berus die vlugraam op interferensie-pas tegnieke, en gebruik die unieke ontplooiingsmetode van die P-POD om te verseker dat die raam nie uitmekaar val tydens die ruimtevaart nie. 'n Keuringsprosedure om die optimale material vir vervaardiging te bepaal is aangewend, tesame met verskeie hulpbron-doeltreffende vervaardigingsproseskettings om 'n CubeSat-struktuur te ontwikkel, wat baie koste-effektief is om te produseer. Dit was maklik aan mekaar gesit en uit mekaar gehaal en weeg minder as meeste van die markleidende CubeSat-strukture.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103358
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