This part of the Cubesat Project is dedicated to the modular structure and energy capture by means of solar panels.
This is a quite ambitious project, because here are involved several mixed industrial engineering aspects, space engineering, communications, chemical, etc… and passing through the development of models, software simulations, aluminum prototypes, including a possible homologation by the Cubesat Program responsible.
In what refers to energy capture, it requires a study of the needed characteristics and possible solutions offered by the present market, getting contact with the concerned companies to acquire and solving the subjection to the modular structure. In consequence, we are speaking about a project that needs an open spirit, developing relations and contacts with other technical universities, companies, considering already existing programs and the public exhibition on popular fairs as Mercaham or URE Congress for getting the maximum publicity.
In what concerns planning, we have observed two well different lines, but both complementary:
The first line of the project is designing the modular structure. First of all, we have studied previous microsatellites and picosatellites already made.
This study has allowed that on Sallesat-I meetings we have been modeling a possible structure that would be a cubical one with a 30 cm side.
This view had to be changed after a meeting with the Cubesat Program responsible, because he insisted we have to design a cubesat with 100 m side. Later on, we started to model the final structure and developing the models with computer simulations until we reached a final design already made thanks to the help of a specialized company.
The second line of the project consists in the selection of the solar panels. As the satellite must have a cubical structure, we would need six solar panels surrounding the structure in such a way that the satellite always captures some solar energy independently of the attitude it has. These panels must have a very high efficiency, around 27% rate, giving us a power supply of 35 watts with 6 cells. As another requirement, the panels have to be able of supporting temperatures between -40ºC and +85ºC, temperatures that Sallesat-I is going to reach in space.
In order to comply with all these characteristics, we have looked for the highest rated panels in the market, ones that will cost us quite a lot of money.