UBC Orbit prides itself in providing a safe learning environment for members of all disciplines and technical backgrounds to gain hands-on experience in the development of a satellite for harsh space environments.
The admin team is responsible for all non-technical management tasks. The team maintains UBC Orbit’s public image, relationships, and finances. This includes searching for sponsorships, applying for funding, booking educational and industry outreach events, and managing all our social media platforms.
ATTITUDE DETERMINATION AND CONTROL
The ADCS team is in charge of determining and stabilizing the orientation of the satellite. The positioning of the satellite is determined using a variety of sensors, such as sun sensors or an inertial management unit. The gathered data is then fed into a custom control system which controls actuators such as magnetorquers and reaction wheels.
COMMAND AND DATA HANDLING
The CDH sub-system is essentially the brain of the satellite, as it deals with carrying out commands from ground station, compiling satellite-wide data, and monitoring and responding to any system failures. For the Aspectu satellite, CDH is developing an inexpensive on-board computer, known as Trillium, that can self-handle radiation-induced upsets. Implementing the concept of Triple Modular Redundancy (TMR), the system contains three micro-controllers (MCUs) that continuously compare their data with each other.
The COMMS team creates an interface between the satellite and ground station. This requires dealing with advanced hardware structures, knowing the constraints of radio communication, and deciding how data should be formatted to enter and leave the satellite. All radio communications from the satellite utilize a programmable transceiver allowing for greater design flexibility. Additionally, the satellite will be operational by any amateur satellite station.
ELECTRICAL POWER SYSTEMS
The EPS team is responsible for planning the power budget of the satellite and ensuring that there is always ample power. To do so, the team must run simulations of our orbit to see if the power intake is sufficient for the satellite’s power consumption.
The payload is responsible for executing the main mission of the satellite. For Aspectu, our payload consists of a camera module that will be able to take images of a specifically requested location on Earth and immediately downlink the photos. The payload module consists of an image sensor PCB, lens and filter assembly, and a micro-controller for processing the sensor output and communicating with the other subsystems.
The structure team is in charge of designing, manufacturing and assembling the frame and components of the satellite. The team also runs simulations on the design to ensure it passes the necessary stress and thermal tests. The structure for the Aspectu satellite is a standard 3U aluminum CubeSat frame, custom-designed by UBC Orbit to support the payload module.
Meet Our Team
The development of a satellite and ensuring that a student team is functioning properly takes a lot of resoures and planning. To help make critical decisions and give advice on design issues, UBC Orbit is grateful to have all the following advisors.