Integration and environmental qualification testing of spacecraft structures in support of the Naval Postgraduate School CubeSat launcher program
DeJesus, Adam C.
Newman, James H.
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The purpose of this thesis is to document the process of designing, constructing, and testing a qualification article in support of the NPS CubeSat Launcher (NPSCuL) project, in the NPSCuL-Lite configuration. NPSCuL-Lite is designed to launch a significant volume of CubeSats into orbit in a single launch. The NPSCuL-Lite will be a secondary payload on U.S. launch vehicles, and will be attached to the launch vehicle via the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA), the Atlas-Centaur Aft Bulkhead Carrier (ABC), or other ESPAcompatible launch vehicle interfaces. NPSCuL-Lite will host CubeSats in up to eight Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployers (P-PODs) developed by the California Polytechnic State University (Cal-Poly). To meet launch requirements, the designer must prove that NPSCuL-Lite and its subsystems (the P-PODs and CubeSats) will operate properly in space, and will not interfere with the launch vehicle, the primary payload, or other secondary payloads. To this end, qualification testing will ensure NPSCuL-Lite can survive ground transport, launch, and CubeSat deployment. Additionally, the initial development of procedures and equipment necessary for ground handling and launch vehicle integration are addressed.
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