NPS-SCAT (Solar Cell Array Tester), the construction of NPS' first prototype Cubesat
Bein, Alexander L.
Newman, James H.
Sakoda, Daniel J.
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Large, expensive satellites have had failures or degraded missions due to solar cells that had not been tested in the space environment. To address these issues, a solar cell testing CubeSat prototype has been developed as part of the Space Systems Academic Group CubeSat program. This prototype provides a dedicated and responsive solution to testing solar cells in space and, as the first CubeSat built at NPS, it gives valuable experience that will encourage CubeSat projects at NPS in the future. This Master's Thesis describes the NPS-SCAT (solar cell array tester) project, including the author's experience as program manager of the project, responsible for budget, schedule and technical deliverables. This thesis explains in detail the process that was used to develop the prototype and gives recommendations for the flight unit. An important conclusion of this thesis is that CubeSats show great promise for hands-on education and as potential platforms to conduct focused research of national interest.
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