Why a Design Competition?

Although launching satellites into space has become cheaper as space industries have matured and perfected their business, the cost is still well above what a normal company or research group could afford. This project explores the possibility of conducting research on picosatellites, a classification of satellites that are comparatively much cheaper and could provide a stable avenue for affordable space research. Moreover, this design competition is structured to allow students to have a two-year turnaround on an actual system design project: the detailed design in the first year and the flight model construction in the second year. The students will have the opportunity to design, integrate, build, and test an entire system that will have a profound impact on their future careers. The FUNSAT Student Design Competition will evaluate multiple designs for a picosatellite which conforms to the CubeSat standard. The material costs for the winning team will be partially supported by FSGC. A systematic approach is essential in defining the CubeSat, and will require analysis and optimization of the following elements due to the stringent constraints of the imposed standards:


  • Satellite Mission and Payload
  • Power
  • Structure
  • Communications
  • Command and Data Handling
  • Attitude Determination and Control
  • Thermal Sensing and Managing
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