This project is solving the Deep Space CamSat challenge. Description
Gosat is a multifunctional microsatelite which aims to approach space misions to everyone. It’s not interesting to send a satellite only to take pictures, that is the reason why we created GoSat. GoSat allows us to not only take pictures, but to do valuable scientific research. Moreover, we have developed an innovative docking system based on the UDP which allows GoSat to be refueled and wirelessly recharged while transfering data to the spacecraft.
Why is GoSat different?
GoSat is a cubesat which not only aspires to take pictures, but to do interesting research missions. That's the reason why we have decided to provide it with more systems than a regular Cubesat. In order to include all the necessary modules, we needed to design it with 30x30x30cm dimensions and an approximate weight of 20kg. GoSat uses traditional and high reliability systems which have been proved many times in space conditions before, that is why we use Nickel-Hydrogen batteries and not the Litium ones.
What problem does GoSat solve?
These past years, budget at NASA has been progressively diminished as the audience during space missions decreased compared to the 60s and 70s. We want to effectively change how people understand space missions trying to approach them in a way no one has ever seen before, literally. Nowadays, innovative methods to reach people have proven to be key to fund projects, as society get to understand the great effort and enormous possibilities they actually have. GoSat aims to be the bridge between people willing to take part and support space mission initiatives and accomplish vital scientific research that can make a difference to the world we live in.
Main GoSat systems and possibilities.
Picturing of Impulsive Maneuvers:
GoSat will allow the control center to check if the propulsion systems of the main spacecraft have correctly worked with more than a temperature-sensor signal. GoSat is equipped with its own plasma engine, making it capable to catch and re-dock the main spacecraft after recording its impulsive maneuvers from certain distance. And thanks to its solar panels and battery has enough autonomy to perform this task.
One of the possible scientific uses of GoSat is to use it as a gravimetry instrument. GoSat could accurately map variations in extra-terrestial bodies's gravity fields by making precise measurements of the distance between it and the main spacecraft using a laser ranging system.In order to be capable to navigate in deep space, several kilometers away of the main spacecraft, GoSat is equipped with space navigation systems (STR, solar sensors, inertial sensors and navigation cameras). The use of Earth’s tracking sensor, what is another usual satellite navigation system, has been rejected because of the diversity of possible body-targets to survey.
Minor Maintenance Tasks:
Through multi-flyby missions usually the spacecraft is turned into hibernation mode in order to reduce system stress. And a critical moment of every mission is the “wake up” moment of every spacecraft’s system. GoSat, as an external auxiliary system, could help to defrost the systems which couldn’t be reconnected because of ice or low temperatures.GoSat would use a directional high-intensity microwave beam to defrost or warm up certain parts of the main spacecraft. As this task would require a huge amount of energy, for purpose would be dependent on the batteries’ capacity.Nowadays, only huge and heavy Nickel-Hydrogen batteries have been tested enough to be considered safe for deep space use. But in the near future or for a low-cost cubesat, Lithium batteries can be accepted which would permit GoSat to afford maintenance tasks, and even more energy demanding applications.
Innovative Docking System:
Based on the Universal Docking Port (UDP), the prototype extends crucial features like connection assessment while the docking and undocking process occurs, allowing inner refueling, wireless data transmission and battery recharge. The androgynous mechanism applied improves fixing assuring a reliable long-term connection.
A folding and unfolding solar array set is key to achieve a proficient self-sufficiency during mission operation. At this moment there are no deep space probes equipped with such a system. A possible solution would be the use of modified vaacum proof servo-motors at the array's hinges.
Download our technical report at: Technical Report
License: Academic Free License 3.0 (AFL-3.0)
Source Code/Project URL: https://github.com/gertorro/GoSat-prop