Improving the NPSCUL structure optimizing the mass
Jolley, Melissa L.
Gordis, Joshua H.
Newman, James H.
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This thesis presents the mass optimization of the Naval Postgraduate School Cube Satellite Launcher. The current structure weights 170.63 lbs and can hold up to 24 Cube Satellites. The weight of the whole system, which includes the launcher and all contained satellites, cannot exceed 177 lbs or be lighter than 169 lbs. By reducing the mass of the launcher, the freed weight can then be reallocated to the Cube Satellites. This will increase the maximum allowed weight per satellite. The current design has six pounds of available free weight. During the course of the analysis, it is found that removal of unused portions of the four side walls of the launcher structure will reduce the weight without undermining the strength. Additionally, when looking at the use of different metal options for the launcher, it is found that the structure needs to maintain the use of an aluminum alloy. Maintaining space-grade aluminum in conjunction with the removal of unused sections of the side walls frees an additional four pounds. This totals ten pounds that can be allocated back into the Cube Satellites.
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