The primary purpose of this spacecraft is as a technology demonstrator. Each SME in the consortium will be responsible for contributing a particular spacecraft subsystem. These systems/subsystems will be integrated into a nanosatellite forming SME-SAT and allow Small to Medium Enterprises to space qualify and characterise their technologies in the environment of space.
The SME-SAT will be implemented using a 3U Commercially Available Off The Shelf (COTS) structure. This standard consists of a structure that has an external envelope of 100mm x 100mm x 340.5mm, internal envelope of 98.4mm x 98.4mm x 295.2mm (L x W x H). On the outside of this structure will be mounted a number of solar arrays that will provide power to the bespoke power system. Inside the structure are a number of PC-104 standard boards that provide the functionality discussed in the following subsections.
The sensor payloads are all connected to a common PC-104 board that interfaces to the rest of the satellite bus. Many of the sensor payloads are internal to the satellite, however the accelerometers and gyros are placed on a deployable boom that will move them approximately 300mm away from the spacecraft.
The primary objective of this project is to involve SMEs from the terrestrial sector on a space project and allow them to space qualify their technology. SME-SAT brings together one of the largest SME based consortiums ever to develop advanced space technologies based on terrestrial applications, which enables them to fully space qualify their technologies within 3 years of the project start date. This project represents a unique, unprecedented space mission, fostering a new alliance between SME’s, universities and a large scale space prime/integrator in which high risk technologies will be developed and fully tested in space using cubesats.
The particular payloads that will be demonstrated in this project include:
High precision ADCS (Surrey)
- Nano-Control Moment Gyros for agility (Surrey)
- Gyros (Sensonor)
- Accelerometers (Sensonor/Theon)
- Star sensor (ISIS)
- Failure Detection, Isolation and Recovery (HSS)
Power system (SystematIC design, NL)