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3rd Responsive Space Conference


KUTESAT-2, A Student
Nanosatellite Mission for Testing
Rapid-Response Small Satellite
Technologies in Low Earth Orbit

Trevor Sorensen, Glenn Prescott, Marco Villa

University of Kansas, Lawrence KS

Dewayne Brown, John Hicks

National Nuclear Security Administration, Kansas City
Plant, Kansas City MO

Arthur Edwards, James Lyke

Air Force Research Laboratory, Albuquerque NM

Thomas George, Sohrab Mobasser, Karl Yee

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA

Scott Tyson
Space Microsystems, Inc.

3rd Responsive Space Conference

April 25–28, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
AIAA-RS3 2005-3002



Trevor Sorensen, Glenn Prescott, Marco Villa

University of Kansas, Lawrence KS

Dewayne Brown, John Hicks

National Nuclear Security Administration, Kansas City Plant, Kansas City MO

Arthur Edwards, James Lyke

Air Force Research Laboratory, Albuquerque NM

Thomas George, Sohrab Mobasser, Karl Yee

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA

Scott Tyson
Space Microsystems

ABSTRACT downlinks; adaptable, agile propulsion

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) systems, and lean manufacturing, assembly
is interested in using nanosats to perform and test.
space experiments, demonstrate new
technology, develop operational systems, The Kansas Universities’ Technology
and integrate advanced responsive space Evaluation Satellite (KUTESat) program
system technology. One potential originated at the University of Kansas (KU)
operational application of nanosats is using in 2002. The technical objective of the
clusters of microsatellites that operate program is the development and operation of
cooperatively to perform the function of a miniature satellites that can demonstrate and
larger, single satellite. Each smaller satellite test technologies and techniques necessary
communicates with the others and shares the to accomplish various government missions.
processing, communications, and payload or The first satellite, KUTESat-1 Pathfinder,
mission functions. This type of a distributed was designed to perform imaging and
system has several advantages: (1) system- measure radiation from orbit. The design
level robustness and graceful degradation, and construction of this 1-kg satellite helped
and (2) distributed capabilities for KU to develop the capability to produce and
surveillance and science measurements built operate small research satellites. Pathfinder
into the system architecture. There are a is due for launch in mid-2005.
number of technology advancements needed
to operationalize and enable tactical Nanosats are a rapid and low-cost
missions. These advancements include technology platform for the space testing of
modular ‘plug-n-play’ satellite architectures a broad range of micro-electro-mechanical
and components; high performance tactical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnologies as
well as new mission architectures. The
Copyright © 2005 by AIAA 3rd Responsive Space KUTESat program offers a low-cost
Conference 2005. All rights reserved.

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
solution to the problem of acquiring “space INTRODUCTION
heritage” for new technologies and concepts.
These programs can undertake higher risk The Kansas Universities’ Technology
missions that would be otherwise avoided by Evaluation Satellite (KUTESat) program
more conservative mission planners. Thus originated at the University of Kansas with
new MEMS and nanotechnologies related to the help and support of the Kansas
avionics, guidance and control, University Center for Research and the
communications, imaging, maneuvering, Kansas Space Grant Consortium. KUTESat
and instrumentation are offered a rapid and aims to promote interest in space activities
low-cost approach to space testing that will at partner universities (e.g., Emporia State
help realize a rapid response space force. University, Haskell Indian Nations
University, Kansas State University,
The objective of the current program is to Pittsburg State University and Wichita State
develop and fly a nanosatellite to test University), and elementary and secondary
components, technologies, and concepts that schools in the state. Engineering and other
are of use to the AFRL, the National departments of these universities were
Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) contacted at the beginning of the program. It
and the National Aeronautics and Space was mutually determined that although
Administration (NASA), while providing a collaboration in such an early phase was not
valuable contribution to the education of feasible, once the infrastructure is in place,
students who will soon be entering the space then it would be possible to team with them.
workforce. That is why the first satellite, Pathfinder,
was a project of the University of Kansas
KU is leading a team consisting of the alone. A major goal of the team is to
NNSA Kansas City Plant, the AFRL, and succeed in the educational aspect, while
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to accomplishing missions that will be useful
design and execute the KUTESat-2 mission to the United States government and space
using a 16-kg nanosatellite based on the industry.
Pathfinder satellite with much commonality
in the avionics and ground system. The The technical objective of the KUTESat
major technologies to be tested include: a program is the development and operation of
miniature distributed and adaptive S-band miniature satellites that can demonstrate and
transceiver; a miniature maneuvering control test technologies and techniques necessary
system; standardized interface (“plug and to accomplish various Department of
play”) electronic modules; various MEMS Defense (DoD) and NASA missions.1 Some
technologies, including a single-axis MEMS of the satellites will be for testing new
gyroscope; a micro sun sensor; an array of technologies for various customers, while
miniature dosimeters; and a miniature others will be engineering prototypes of
imager. New capabilities to be tested include small probes that could be carried aboard
a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) larger U.S. government spacecraft. The
communication demonstration with the S- proposed missions of these latter picosats
band transceiver, and demonstration of are to provide an ability to inspect the main
target inspection capability using a deployed spacecraft or other nearby objects and to
inflated target. The KUTESat-2 will be measure the ambient space environment
prepared for a launch in 2007. away from the influence of the main
spacecraft. The first objective helps in the

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
accomplishment of the AFSPC Strategic project, KUTESat-2. From there the
Master Plan for ensuring space superiority, program diverges into two lines. The first is
while the latter objective will be particularly the MIST mission, which includes the
useful to both DoD and NASA missions. simultaneous flight of three KUTESats, and
the other is a possible follow-on to


DoD Missions


2005 OR
KUTESat -1 KUTESat-2
• DOE S-band
• Imager
• Dosimeters NASA Missions
KUBESat • Inflatable target
Precursors • MMCS MIST

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Figure 1. KUTESat Program

Another major objective of the KUTESat KUTESat-2 which involves a re-dockable
program is to flight-test advanced inspector probe. Both these paths can lead
nanotechnology in the form of components towards operational application in either
and subsystems (e.g., electronics, DoD or NASA missions.
micropropulsion, inertial measurement units,
and imagers). These technologies will PROJECT DESCRIPTION
enable the development of whole fleets of
miniature responsive spacecraft to STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES
accomplish the DoD objectives in space.2,3 The purpose of the KUTESat-2 mission is to
Flying three picosats together also tests flight test new technologies and capabilities
formation flying, and the command and of importance to the Air Force Research
control of a formation in space. Laboratory (AFRL), National Nuclear
Security Administration (NNSA), and the
The core KUTESat program (see Figure 1) National Aeronautics and Space
starts with a balloonsat precursor, the Administration (NASA) in low Earth orbit.
Kansas University Balloon Experiment The major technologies to be tested will
Satellite (KUBESat); the first satellite, include: a miniature programmable,
KUTESat-1 (Pathfinder); then the current distributed and adaptive S-band transceiver;

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
a miniature maneuvering control system; stabilized test platform for the technology
standardized interface (“plug and play”) payloads being provided by the KUTESat-2
electronic modules; various MEMS team members (NNAS KCP, AFRL, and
technologies, including a single-axis MEMS NASA JPL). KUTESat-2 will be ready for
gyroscope; and a miniature imager. New launch in 2007.
capabilities to be tested include a Tracking
and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Successful completion of the KUTESat-2
communication demonstration with the objectives will demonstrate the capabilities
miniature S-band tranceiver, and of a miniature S-band transceiver that would
demonstration of target inspection capability be suitable for multiple applications for
using a deployed inflated target. DoD, NNSA, and NASA. This transceiver
has greater flexibility than other comparable
The mission objectives are divided into transceivers, being able to have its key
primary and secondary objectives. characteristics, including frequencies,
Primary Objectives modulation, power output, etc.
1. Promote and sustain research and reprogrammed in flight. This would be a key
education focused on small satellites and technology for a rapid response space force.
related technologies. By demonstrating Tracking and Data Relay
2. Demonstrate the ability of the Satellite (TDRS) compatibility, the S-band
University of Kansas to design, transceiver will become suitable for even
fabricate, integrate, test, and operate a more missions. Another goal of the mission
nanosatellite of less than 30 kg in mass. involving the S-band transceiver is to
3. Flight test and demonstrate technologies conduct an experiment to demonstrate the
that will be of use to the AFRL, NNSA, ability to have an S-band transmitter “black
and NASA. box” that could instantly and autonomously
4. Train and educate future space report through a TDRS satellite a major
professionals that will enter the incident affecting the satellite operation - a
workforce. so called “dial 911” capability.
Secondary Objectives
5. Foster research in enabling technologies Other objectives of the KUTESat-2 mission
for nanosats. include testing various new MEMS
6. Design of experiments that can be components, such as a miniature gyroscope
performed by nanosats in orbit. and a micro sun sensor. These components
7. Engage young people at all school could dramatically increase the capabilities
levels to foster an interest in space, of nanosatellites, by providing the
mathematics, and science. performance of much larger units that are
too big for use on small satellites. A “plug
To fulfill these objectives the University of and play” capability being demonstrated on
Kansas (KU) is leading a team which will KUTESat-2 will advance technology
design, build, test and operate a nanosatellite towards development of a rapid response
of less than 30 kg mass that will be flown in space force. A goal of both DoD and NASA
low Earth orbit (LEO). The KU team is is to have the capability to have miniature
experienced in small satellite development, inspection spacecraft that can maneuver
having just built a 1-kg satellite, KUTESat-1 around and inspect using various sensors
(Pathfinder), which is scheduled for launch another spacecraft or object. The KUTESat-
in mid-2005. KUTESat-2 will be a 3-axis

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
2 mission will take a step towards and imagers). These technologies will
developing this capability. enable the development of fleets of
miniature spacecraft to accomplish the DoD
BACKGROUND and NASA objectives in space.

KUTESat Program The KUTESat Program as currently

The KUTESat program originated at the implemented is designed to develop and
University of Kansas in 2002 with the help flight test pico-satellites (<2 kg mass) or
and support of the Kansas University Center nano-satellites (< 30 kg) to evaluate various
for Research and the Kansas Space Grant miniature technologies in orbital test flights
Consortium. KUTESat aims to promote while providing invaluable educational
interest in space activities at partner benefits for students. The first satellite,
universities and elementary and secondary Pathfinder, was designed to establish the
schools in the state. A major goal of the capability at the University of Kansas to
team is to succeed in the educational aspect, design, build, test, and operate pico-satellites
while accomplishing missions that will be (picosats). Pathfinder has been delivered to
useful to the United States government and the launch integrator and is scheduled to be
space industry. launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in
The technical objective of the KUTESat
program is the development and operation of Kansas University Balloon Experiment
small pico- and nano-satellites that can Satellites
demonstrate and test technologies and In Spring 2003 KU started a high altitude
techniques necessary to accomplish various balloon program, initially as a collaboration
DoD and NASA missions. Some of the between the Aerospace Engineering (AE)
satellites will test new technologies for and Electrical Engineering and Computer
various customers, while others will be Science (EECS) senior design classes; the
engineering prototypes of small probes that
could be carried aboard larger U.S.
government spacecraft. The proposed
missions of these latter picosats are to
provide an ability to inspect the main
spacecraft or other nearby objects and to
measure the ambient space environment
away from the influence of the main
spacecraft. The first objective aids in the
accomplishment of the AFSPC Strategic
Master Plan for ensuring space superiority,
while the latter objective will be particularly
useful to both DoD and NASA missions.

Another major objective of the KUTESat

program is to flight-test advanced
nanotechnologies in the form of components
and subsystems (e.g., electronics,
micropropulsion, inertial measurement units,

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
KU School of Education; Olathe North High characterized and tested in the high-altitude
School; and the Department of Energy balloon flights, it is desired by DOE KCP to
(DOE), NNSA, Honeywell Federal flight test the S-band transceiver in low
Manufacturing and Technologies LLC Earth orbit (LEO) and thus qualify it for a
Kansas City Plant (KCP). One of the number of applications to various
purposes of the KU High Altitude Balloon government customers.
System (KU HABS) was to carry payload
modules, called the Kansas University KUTESat-1 Pathfinder
Balloon Experiment Satellite (KUBESat), to The objective of the first KUTESat mission
the near-space environment at 100,000 ft is to develop and operate a simple picosat of
altitude (Figure 2). about 1 kg in mass, Pathfinder, which will
be flown in LEO. This satellite is similar to
ADCS Co mmuni c a t i o ns
Magnetometer control Applications
Sun Sensors I sw TNC
sw secondary
Temp. Sensors SPI Memory OS
secondary Dipoles
Torquer Coils Antenna
(MMCS) 1 wire Heater
bdg RF
Pa yl o ad I2C
payload PIC
GS Yagi
SPI secondary primary payload
Power TNC
PIC Distribution

Solar Batteries Charger

Analog Arrays internet


Digital Heater
1 wire

Figure 3: KUTESat-1 Pathfinder Functional Block Diagram

The first payload module, KUBESat-1, was cubesats being developed by several
designed to carry a prototype miniature S- universities around the world and takes
band transmitter developed by the DOE advantage of their combined launch
KCP. It was also designed to flight test opportunities (where several cubesats are
components, subsystems, and software to be launched on the same vehicle thus reducing
used in the Pathfinder satellite before they the launch cost per satellite).4-12
are committed to orbit. The KUBESat-2
module is designed to flight test the full S- The purpose of this mission is to develop the
band transceiver being developed by DOE capability and experience in the State of
KCP. Once the S-band transceiver has been Kansas to design, develop, and operate a
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satellite, as well as testing some of the THE KUTESAT-2 SATELLITE
technologies that will be used in the later The KUTESat-2 satellite will be 3-axis
KUTESat satellites. The Pathfinder (Fig. 3) stabilized and able to perform imaging of
uses a HAM transmitter and receiver to the Earth and other targets. The operational
provide communication with the ground. Its life for the satellite will be at least two years,
baselined payload consists of four with a design life of three years.
dosimeters and a digital imager. It has solar
cells for primary power as well as secondary Payload Description
lithium-ion batteries. A 3-axis S-Band Transceiver
magnetometer and sun sensors was The Plug and Play (PnP) Transceiver
baselined for attitude determination, and (Figure 4) is a Flexible Wireless Network
magnetic torque coils for 3-axis attitude Transceiver with a USB and or Spacewire
control. Experience, skills, and tools
obtained during this development project
will help the KUTESat team to develop the
more advanced KUTESat-2 satellite. It is
also intended to use the operation of the
Pathfinder to gain operations and ground
support experience needed for the
KUTESat-2 mission.

The roles and responsibilities of the
members of the KUTESat-2 team are shown
in Table 1.

Table 1. KUTESat-2 Team Roles and

- Project management Figure 4. KCP S-band Transceiver
- Satellite bus design, fabrication,
integration and test interface enabling PnP wireless network
University of Kansas
- Imager, dosimeter radfet array
and MMCS payloads
communication data link capabilities on a
- Inflatable target and deployment satellite interface bus. A PnP satellite
Ground segment and mission
interface facilitates rapid connectivity, self
operations organization, arbitrary order and any
DOE NNSA Kansas City - S-band transceiver subsystem quantity or topology between satellite
Plant (including TDRS experiment)
- Ground station equipment to subsystems. This enables rapid interchange,
support S-band assembly, integration, calibration, and
- Test facilities
- Technical support operation of a satellite system and its
Air Force Research - “Plug and play” experiments payloads.13
Laboratory - Technical support
NASA Jet Propulsion - MEMS single-axis gyro
Laboratory - Miniature sun sensor The Flexible Wireless Network Transceiver
- Technical support
(FNT) is a modular, scalable, software
configurable microwave transceiver, that
can transmit and receive data across a
mobile wireless channel with other
transceivers collectively forming a network.

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
It has a Flexible Network Processor (FNP) transmitted across a wireless channel. The
comprising a layered network service stack, FDT is based on a modular baseband
a medium access controller (MAC), and a programmable signal processor, and
physical layer interface. The FNP enables microware signal processors. The baseband
wireless network communication between a waveform processor can accommodate
networked station application and the numerous modulation, waveshaping filters,
wireless network channel. The FNT also signal synthesizers, etc. leading to a plethora
includes a physical layer that is scalable in of signal types. The modular frequency
terms of frequency, data rates, RF power, upconverter with a programmable carrier
and signal waveforms. The physical layer synthesizer enables operation in a range of
includes phased array antenna technology frequency channels. The modular power
enabling beam forming and steering amplifier driver with a programmable gain
resulting in management of wireless channel interface and modular output power stages
spatial capabilities. enables a broad range of dynamic link
margins. The phased array antenna with
The PnP interface is based upon USB and dynamic beam forming and steering enables
Spacewire standards that define the physical, a range of sweeping, tracking, or gain
data, network, and transport protocols control capabilities. The FDT has not yet
between the satellite interface bus and the been miniaturized, but currently occupies
FNT. The PnP network service stack, MAC, approximately 164 cubic cm and weighs
and physical layer interface can be approximately 110 gm.
integrated into the FNP to form a dual
network service software and hardware The Flexible Data Receiver (FDR) functions
stack that serves to translate between the to amplify weak S-band signals from a
two protocols. The FNP also defines the wireless channel and to frequency translate
protocols which enable the satellite bus to and demodulate the original data stream.
register, synchronize, and exchange data The FDR is based on a modular
payloads within a collection of globally programmable signal processor and
distributed wireless nodes in space, air, sea, microwave signal processors. The low noise
or ground nodes. Information assurance in amplifier and RF downconverter sections
terms of encryption, anti-intrusion, anti-jam, are capable of variable filter and amplifier
are embedded within the flexible network gains. The downconversion mixer is driven
processor enabling reliable, secure, wireless by a programmable carrier synthesizer
connectivity and interoperability between enabling operation in a range of frequency
global distributed space, air, sea, and ground bands. A modular IF section enables a
assets. The compact size and scalable number of external and or internal
architecture of the FNT enables on orbit demodulators and waveform digitizers. The
management of frequency, transmit range, modular baseband programmable signal
S/N, modulation, bandwidth, data rate, and processor is capable of digitizing,
beam steering of the transmit and received synchronizing, filtering, and extracting data
waveforms. bits from modulated IF signals. It
reconstructs the original data stream with a
The Flexible Data Transmitter (FDT) synchronous clock. The FTR has not yet
functions to modulate an S-band carrier with been miniaturized, but currently occupies
input digital data stream and amplifies the approximately 164 cubic cm and weighs
power of this signal so that it can be approximately110 gm.

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
The Phased Array Antenna (PAA) is based be able to compress the images for an easy
on an array of microwave patch antennas, and fast transmission. Dimensions should
RF signal processing, beam steering not exceed 10mm x 10mm x 10mm and the
networks, and digital control processors. weight should not be above 20 grams. It
The antenna can operate manually with open should be able to operate in normal and low
loop control for beam pointing or can power modes, with a maximum power
operate automatically with closed loop required not to exceed 100mW. Particular
control for tracking moving targets. The attention will be devoted to the choice of the
PAA occupies approximately 20.3 x 56 x 5 field of view, focus distance and focal
cm and weighs less than 1.4 kg. number. The camera should be easy to
access, configure and optimize. The team
TDRS Experiment - This experiment will will build on the experience gained
demonstrate an "emergency 911" interfacing the camera module on
capability, which amounts to a real-time Pathfinder.
notification of high-priority events through
the existing NASA TDRS constellation. Dosimeter Radfet Array
This capability will be useful for space The dosimeters baselined to fly on board
assets to immediately report an attack or KUTESat-2 are the 400nm Gate Oxide Solid
major satellite disruption to the ground by State Dosimeter RADiation Field Effect
using a miniature S-band beacon with omni Transistor (RADFET) designed and
antennas at a low data rate (e.g., 1 kbps). produced by the National Microelectronics
By being very small and cheap these Research Centre, University College Cork,
emergency beacons could be added to all Ireland.
new satellites entering the fleet. These
black boxes could buffer critical data that The RADFETs are smaller than any other
would be transmitted upon triggering of the dosimeter available on the market, and are
system. Severing the plug-and-play being used on the Pathfinder satellite, which
umbilical or failing to reset an internal will increase the probability of success of
watch-dog timer would trigger the black this science experiment. RADFETs work on
box. While it is not recommended that this the principle that when they are exposed to a
satellite be destroyed to "prove the point", it ionizing radiation, electrons and holes are
would be straightforward to engineer a generated in the device. Applying a positive
disruption of power to the black box to bias to the gate, it is possible to attract those
demonstrate a "simulated catastrophe". A carriers, hence changing the amount of
special "normal shutdown command" could positive charges in the oxide part of the
be used if power actually needs to be device. Because of this the device is harder
removed in normal operation to prevent to access, e.g. needs more voltage. The
false triggers. measure of these different voltages allows
the absorbed dose to be measured.
Imager RADFETs have the standard dimensions of
The camera module of the KUTESat-2 will a 14-pin DIP package (1.9 cm x 0.79 cm)
be a low power, high-resolution camera and a weight of 2 grams. The RADFETs
developed for embedded applications. The change their properties when exposed to
camera will combine a CMOS image sensor, radiations. A frequent measurement of the
an image processor and a high-quality lens output voltage allows a reading of the total
in the same package. The module should dose to which it has been exposed. The post
have capability to be configured and should
AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
processing of the data will be done for credit blocks, for example) would be directly
in a special problems course by students of connected to the C&DH system. In SPA,
the KU Physics Department. networks are more “internet-like”, meaning
that the topology is somewhat free-form
Plug And Play Sub-Experiment Network (amorphous) in nature.
A simple network of components based on While the paradigm sought for SPA is
the space plug-and-play avionics (SPA) similar to the “ease-of-use” model promoted
concept is planned. The network will by “plug-and-play” (PnP) in the PC industry
consist of a: (1) processor interface and (e.g., USB-based “thumb drives”), SPA is
robust hub, (2) chalcogenide RAM sub- not simply the transplant/grafting of a
experiment, (3) adaptive wiring manifold “consumerized” PnP onto aerospace
sub-experiment, and (4) plug-and-play electrical components. Instead, while
extensions to RF transceivers. exploiting convenience standards for
physical and transport layers (e.g. such as
The Plug-And-Play Approach - SPA is supplied by USB, Spacewire, and Ethernet),
defined as an interface-driven set of SPA represents a re-engineering of PnP to
standards intended to promote the rapid accommodate special constraints not
typically faced by most high-volume
commodity PnP products:
• fault tolerance
SPA-U link • synchronization
SPA-S link
a-h spacecraft bus
• higher power delivery

High-speed • driverless PnP
Command and
• environmental (e.g. radiation,
data handling

a b
c d Main spacecraft

g h Command and Data Handling

e f Computer
Spacecraft bus
S-band antenna

Figure. 5 The SPA “Model”: Spacecraft As A

Collection Of Plug-And-Play (Pnp) Components Robust hub

development of spacecraft buses (platforms)

and payloads. The SPA standards comprise
an open systems framework, which combine CRAM AWM S-band
core commercial standards (such as USB) Sub-Experiment Sub-Experiment Sub-Experiment
with carefully chosen hardware and software
extensions necessary for modern real-time Figure. 6 – Nanosat Pnp Architecture
embedded systems. In the SPA “model”
(Fig. 5), a spacecraft is a network of SPA The simple experiment network is shown in
components, in this case connected to a Fig. 6, consisting of a plug-and-play (PnP)
central command and data handling host interface, robust hub module, and three
(C&DH) unit. Whereas in conventional sub-experiment modules. The PnP interface
(non-SPA) spacecraft, many of the provides primary power, data, and
spacecraft components (the “a” through “h” synchronization (optional) sub-interfaces.

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
The generic sub-experiment design includes Several operating and troubleshooting
a standard module frame (12.7 x 12.7 x 1.3 modes will be designed into the CRAM
cm) and a small micro-computer, referred to sub-experiment to permit routine pattern
as point-of-application controller (POAC). generation and more detailed retention
Gen 0 Point of Application
performance measurements and statistics to
Controller (POAC) Node
1-8 SPORT (2) Galvanic





Point of Application
DHS MISC CTRL (4) 57-60

A/D (16)
I/F Connector Service/Instrumentation
Analog FPGA (Xilinx V2Pro)
Function Ckt STD USB
CLK 62
Circuit RS-422 Conv. 63 SPA




A GND 66
44 +28V
X 28V Switched +28RET 67
45-48 68
X +3.3V
53-54 X 3.3V RET 3.3VDC
55-56 Jumper

Figure 8. CRAM Sub-experiment

Figure 7. Point-Of-Application Controller,
Standard Inclusion For Pnp Sub- be generated. If necessary, the service
Experiments FPGA can be reprogrammed in situ if new
The design of the POAC, shown in Fig. 7, is test protocols need to be tried after launch.
a compact (10 gram, 3.8 x 2.54 x 0.64 cm) Several simple 64K CRAM test samples are
bundling of the hardware and software currently available, and these test samples
necessary to interface sub-experiments to will be upgraded with larger components as
the plug-and-play network. POAC is based they become available.
on the advanced instrument controller (AIC)
developed for the Mars Deep Space II
Adaptive Wiring Manifold (AWM)
mission. Application code for
accommodating messaging and service
registration are pre-written and easily Service/Instrumentation
FPGA (Xilinx V2Pro)
Point of Application

modified to promote rapid integration.


Chalcogenide RAM (CRAM)

Subexperiment The CRAM sub- MagFusion (ex.)
experiment is designed to instrument up to Test

eight chalcogenide memory clusters (each

cluster containing one or more CRAM Other MEMS
devices), exercised by a service FPGA Switches

connected to a POAC (see Fig. 8). The Switchbox ASIC (ATK/MRC

under AFRL Support)
purpose of the CRAM sub-experiment is to
obtain information about CRAM operation Figure 9. AWM Sub-experiment
in a relevant space environment. Data are
generated through the repetitive Subexperiment The beginnings of the
presentation of test vectors, and data are adaptive wiring manifold, eventually to
reduced within the experiment itself to become a fullscale wiring harness, are
minimize the creation of dense telemetry. captured by array of simple switch devices

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(i.e., bistable latching MEMS relays), a Currently, the PRG has been constructed
control ASIC, and continuity using discrete, bipolar electronics on printed
measurements. These concepts are
compactly bundled in the AWM sub-
experiment, shown in Fig. 9.

The purpose of the AWM sub-experiment is

to examine the feasibility of reconfigurable
wiring structures in a functioning space
system. The promise of AWM is to
dramatically reduce development time in the
development of future spacecraft. It
currently may take up to eight months to Figure 10. Single-axis MEMS Gyroscope
construct a wiring harness for a complex
spacecraft. With AWM, this time is reduced circuit boards mounted on an Aluminum
to minutes. In the same way that FPGAs structural frame. The volume of the
programmably connect gates together in pre- packaged device shown is 2.5 in³, its mass is
built silicon, the AWM can programmably 150 grams, and it consumes less than 2 W of
connect modules in a spacecraft. The AWM power. The performance metrics are: 0.1
subexperiment is only a portion of a future deg/hr bias stability, and 0.008 deg/rt-hr
AWM, but contains all representative ARW. This device is at a TRL 4 level of
elements. Up to 10 pairs of MEMS relays maturity.
are combined into a switchbox assembly,
controlled by a design-hardened ASIC to Miniature Maneuvering Control System
control the MEMS switches and provide the An essential part of an miniature inspector
correct drive voltages and timing for spacecraft (probe) is a means to maneuver
actuation. The switchbox is mounted onto a around the target being inspected. The
substrate within the compact experiment, purpose of this experiment is to design,
connected to continuity probes. The service develop, and test a miniature maneuvering
FPGA exercises the miniature wiring system control system (MMCS) suitable in use in
and can measure the continuity of the switch nano- and micro-satellites. Candidates for
ensemble over the life of the satellite the MMCS include cold gas thruster systems
mission. and the vaporizing liquid microthrusters
(VLM) being developed at NASA JPL. Due
Single-Axis MEMS Gyroscope to some technical problems that have arisen
The JPL/Boeing post-resonator gyroscope with the VLM, we are currently baselining a
(PRG) is a compact, low power, vibratory, cold gas thruster system for KUTESat-2.
MEMS gyroscope (Fig. 10). The The prototype of such a system is being
performance of this device is roughly an planned for construction and testing on
order of magnitude better than that of other NASA KC-135 microgravity flights in July
competing MEMS-based gyroscopes, and is 2005 by a KU undergraduate team. A team
comparable in performance to optical led by a graduate student will then use the
gyroscopes. The PRG consists of a Coriolis flight results to design, build and test the
force coupled pyrex post, anodically bonded MMCS for KUTESat-2. Although cold gas
to a resonating silicon micromachined plate. thrusters generally have a low specific
impulse (30 - 70 sec.), the performance
should be adequate for the planned

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
inspection of the inflated target during the capabilities necessary for a planned
KUTESat-2 mission. inspection satellite being planned by KU.
The inflatable balloon and deployment
Deployable Inflated Target system will be tested using a KUBESat,
This purpose of this experiment is to which will test the system under the near
demonstrate the ability of the satellite to space conditions of about 30 km altitude.
acquire, track and maneuver around a The target and deployment system is being
nearby visual target. The target in this case developed by Wichita State University
will be a small inflatable vehicle that will be under contract to KU. The funding for this is
deployed from KUTESat-2 at the beginning being provided by a NASA EPSCoR award
of the experiment (Fig. 11). A small tank of that coincides with the period of the
compressed gas (e.g., helium) inside the KUTESat-2 project.

Micro Sun Sensor

The Micro Sun Sensor (MSS) is essentially
a pinhole camera with an F/# ~30 and
multiple pinholes (Fig. 12a). It consists of
two key components: 1) a Micro Electro
Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based mask
and 2) a “camera on a chip” APS image
He-Inflated Balloon detector. The high-resolution multi aperture
mask is placed close to the image detector.
The concept is shown in Figure 12a. The
gray spots on the bottom plate (the focal

Battery Transmitter Mask


Focal Plane
Deployment Compressed Figure 12a. The Micro Sun Sensor Concept
Port He Tank

Satellite Bus

Figure 11. Deployable Inflated Target Subsystem

satellite bus will provide the pressurant. A

small RF homing beacon transmitter will be
included in the valve housing of the target to
provide a bearing to the target when there is
no visual contact using the imager. The Figure 12b. The Micro Sun Sensor
KUTESat-2 will autonomously maneuver plane) indicate the images of the sun formed
around the target as long as possible during by individual apertures on the top plate. The
ground contacts. This will demonstrate some

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
MSS utilizes a special “camera on a chip” weight of approx 15-20 Kg. It will be a
image detector. All camera functions such as standard regular-shaped monocoque
photosensitive pixels, A/D converter and structure made of aluminum. Different shape
control logic are implemented on the die. possibilities will be explored to match the
The sun angles in two orthogonal axes can launch provider requirements of structural
be derived by determining the location of rigidity and strength. Accessibility and
the sun images on the focal plane. modularity will be two of the main
requisites that will be considered during the
The MEMS mask and the image detector is design. The design should not include
packaged into a small aluminum box typical deployables such as solar panels, but
including a connector. The image detector the option must be considered in order to
die is mounted directly to a PCB using “chip meet the power requirements.
on board” technology. The assembly is show
in Figure 12b. It has a mass of 11 gm, uses Electrical Power Subsystem - The
30 mW power, FOV is 160º, and its Electrical Power Subsystem (EPS) will be
accuracy (1σ, 1 axis) is < 1 arcminute. an uprated and enhanced version of the one
used on Pathfinder. It will be able to provide
Satellite Bus Description different levels of power (different
Overview voltages), which will be organized on
KUTESat-2 will develop on the experience different buses to facilitate the different
gained by the KU team during the design, levels of priority of the subsystems during
construction and testing of the first mission the mission. The primary source of power
of the KUTESat program: Pathfinder. The will be triple-junction Gallium-Arsenide
satellite will include a double solar cells with a minimum efficiency of
communication system: a HAM transmitter 25%. The secondary power source will be
and receiver to provide regular Lithium-Ion batteries, which will be
communication with the ground station, and packaged to provide enough capacity to
an S-Band transceiver system for high data sustain every operation and provide enough
transfer. It will have solar cells for primary power to the payloads. The software on the
power as well as secondary batteries. A power board will provide a level of
magnetometer, sun sensors and temperature management that will regulate the use of the
sensors will be used for attitude components to obtain maximum efficiency.
determination, and magnetic torque coils
will be used for attitude control. The satellite Attitude Determination and Control
will carry numerous payloads, which will be Subsystem - The Attitude Determination
operated by a central microcontroller, as and Control Subsystem (ADCS) will
well as by dedicated programmable integrate provide attitude determination through
circuits (PICs). When possible, only information obtained from temperature
components able to withstand harsh sensors, 3-axis magnetometer, miniaturized
environment (low/high temperatures, sun-sensors and a single axis MEMS gyro,
radiation) will be chosen. the latter two provided by JPL as payloads.
The KU team will already have experience
Subsystems with attitude determination with the
Structures & Mechanisms - KUTESat-2 Pathfinder satellite, and will leverage on this
bus will derive from the one used for the knowledge to improve and deliver a very
Pathfinder spacecraft to support a total accurate system.

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
The control of the satellite will be done Communications Subsystem -
using three magnetic torquer coils set along Communication with the ground will be
the satellite body axes. This system was possible principally through the Amateur
baselined for use on Pathfinder for attitude Radio Frequencies. Two separate
control. Attitude control will also be frequencies will be allocated for the two-
provided by the MMCS (see Section 3.1.8) way communication. This radio band has
that is now being developed by a team at been chosen for its proven reliability and
KU. because it can tap into a very big network of
ground stations scattered everywhere on
Command, Telemetry and Data Handling Earth. There will be a communication board,
Subsystem - The Command, Telemetry and which will be the interface between the
Data Handling Subsystem (CT&DH) TNC-Radio-antenna system and the
subsystem will be designed around a CT&DH, which will ultimately manage the
µcDimm. This selected microprocessor will communications. There will be the
have to offer a flexible design with great possibility to operate in a beaconing mode,
interface capability. It will have a good with which the power consumption will be
amount of memory (SDRam and Flash) and held to minimum and there will still be
will have a minimum speed of 33Mhz. transmission of important telemetry data.
Linux will be the operative system. PICs KUTESat-2 will also have a S-Band
will be placed in some boards to handle transceiver, provided by KCP, which will be
local tasks, but the main operations will used to transmit payloads data, such as
always be handled by the microcontroller. A pictures or short movies. The satellite will
watchdog, or a secondary PIC will be have a dipole antenna and a S-Band antenna.
installed on the CT&DH board to provide
remedy to possible single event upsets Mass and Power Budgets
(SEUs) or latchups (SELs). The mass budget was estimated to be 16.5
kg total using a 25% margin. This was based
Most of the software required has already on the payload mass given by the payload
been developed during the Pathfinder providers and the subsystems based on the
mission. Nonetheless, it will be reviewed Pathfinder mass budget (using a
and upgraded, and additional modules will multiplication factor of two except for the
be implemented to handle the payloads structure and EPS which have to be
operations. Data handler, health monitoring, substantially upgraded). The power budget
telemetry multicast, orbit library are some of was calculated to be between 5 W
the applications that will be included in the (minimum operational) and 50 W
satellite software. (maximum peak).

Thermal Control Subsystem - The GROUND SEGMENT

Thermal Control Subsystem (TCS) will be
semi-active. It will have an array of Ground Station and Mission Operations
temperature sensors located inside the Center
satellite, and will have dedicated heaters to One of the main objectives of the KUTESat
provide the necessary heat to some program is the development of a complete
components, such as batteries and mission control center and tracking station
microcontroller. located at the University of Kansas.

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
Although simple amateur-radio antenna and Engineering Department has vibration
communications equipment should be testing equipment that will be used to
sufficient for the KUTESat-1 Pathfinder perform shock vibration, random vibration
mission, the KUTESat-2 mission will and modal analysis on the satellite. This
require a full tracking ground station, which vibration table has just been updated and has
will then be available also to support future proven to be sufficient for the testing that
space missions. Such a ground station could the team will have to perform.
also be available for use supporting other
DoD or NASA satellites and would be the The Aerospace Engineering Department has
only one of its kind within a radius of over available equipment that may be used to
200 miles. perform the acoustic testing. The structure
subsystem team will perform a high-
For the KUTESat-2 mission the primary temperature testing, “baking” every
communication mode will be with the HAM component and thus meeting the
(UHF/VHF) radio system developed for the requirements for “outgassing” the satellite
Pathfinder mission, at least until the S-band materials.
system has been tested and declared
operational. The mission Ground Station The AE Department is attempting to obtain
(GS) and Mission Operations Center (MOC) a thermal vacuum chamber suitable for
will be located in a dedicated facility in an testing KUTESat-2 either through funding
existing building at the University of on another satellite program or as
Kansas. The center will be a simple, low Government furnished equipment (GFE).
cost automated facility that will establish a However, even if the department is
permanent spacecraft control center at KU. unsuccessful in obtaining a chamber, KCP
Since the ground station will be operating has a thermal vacuum chamber which can be
24/7, computers have to be stable and used. It was used for testing the HABS-1
reliable. A workstation with an balloonsat and for testing the Pathfinder
uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system satellite.
will be the ground station controller. Linux
will be the native operating system of the The KUTESat Program has a laboratory and
computers. The on-site operations will workroom located in the ITTC building at
include satellite and payload operations as KU to design, build and test the electronic
well as orbit maintenance and event components. KU intends to purchase solar
planning. All payload data Level 0 simulation equipment if possible using other
processing will occur in the MOC and then funding, which would become an important
made available to principal investigators, testing center for the numerous space-related
students and the general public (where projects developed in Kansas and in the
appropriate) through the Internet. entire Midwest and Central United States. In
addition to the facilities mentioned, the
Facilities and Equipment AFRL (Kirtland AFB), allows academic
Throughout the KUTESat-2 project, the institutions to use its facilities for research
team will use facilities already available at purposes.
the University of Kansas. Several
engineering departments have already The construction and assembly of the
offered the use of their equipment for the satellite structure and components will be
satellite testing. The Mechanical done at the KUTESat project area in Nichols

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
Hall at the University of Kansas, where a tested, then stored at the ground station for
machining shop and an electronics shop are automatic (or manual) uplink to the satellite
available. The final integration of the during a contact. Downlinked payload data
satellites will take place in a clean room that will undergo Level 0 processing and then be
will be in the new Special Research Projects shipped to the respective users via the
building being constructed at KU and ready internet.
for occupancy by early 2006. The clean
room will have its own controlled The major payload of KUTESat-2 is the S-
environment and dedicated desktops to run band transceiver. It will undergo a series of
the necessary tests and monitor the satellite tests from the ground station under the
health. supervision of the KCP engineers. These
tests will have been previously done when
OPERATIONS CONCEPT the transceiver was flown in the KUBESat.
The KUTESat team believes in the concept For the scheduled TDRS test, the S-band
of operations engineering. This means that will be configured in TDRS mode, and then
the graduate student in charge of operations while in contact with the ground station, the
will be involved with all aspects of the satellite will be maneuvered, if necessary, to
design and testing of the satellite to ensure point the antenna in the direction of the
its operability and to transfer knowledge to TDRS satellites in geostationary orbits. The
the flight operations team (FOT). The communications tests will be executed, and
experience gained from operating the then the satellite will be returned to nominal
Pathfinder satellite will be invaluable to the state before loss of signal (LOS).
The most complicated experiment will be
Initially the contacts with the satellite will the one using the deployable inflated balloon
have personnel in the MOC. However, target to test the maneuvering system and
KUTESat-2 will be designed for inspection capabilities. The MMCS will be
autonomous contacts with the ground station tested prior to the target experiment to
(“lights out” operations). Nominal ensure it will operate as expected. The
operations will consist of at least one contact balloon experiment will be conducted when
a day with the MOC manned, but additional there is a series of high elevation passes at
contacts may be autonomous. During each the ground station. The balloon target will
contact, both manned and autonomous, once be inflated during one of the first contacts
lock is established with the satellite, stored with the ground, but not released. During the
state-of-health (SOH) and payload data will next pass, the balloon target will be released
be downlinked. The system will have a and the satellite will point the camera to lock
paging capability so that the operations onto the target. During the third pass (with
manager can be paged using a text pager if maximum elevation), the autonomous
any real-time SOH parameters are out of maneuvering sequence will be started.
limits. The text page will inform the Imagery of the test will be stored so that
manager of the parameter in question - its even when not in contact with the ground,
value and the limit, so that appropriate the test can be observed after the data are
action can be taken. The FOT will on a downlinked.
regular basis examine, trend, and analyze the
SOH data to determine the satellite’s health It is expected that the onboard imager will
status. Command loads will be prepared and be used for taking images of the Earth and

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
Moon as well as the target balloon. When and the payload, including the deployable
the S-band is available, several images or target. The ground segment consists of the
video can be downlinked during a contact, project management, satellite integration
while it will take several contacts to and test facility, mission operations center
downlink an image using the primary HAM (and mission operations), and the satellite
communication system. tracking ground station. The launch system
includes the integration of the satellite with
PROJECT MANAGEMENT the launch vehicle and support during launch
operations. The users are KU, KCP, AFRL,
Project Architecture and JPL, who will provide the payloads and
KU will be the hub of the KUTESat-2 use the data returned. The latter three users
system architecture (see Fig. 13), being will also provide technical support to KU
responsible for the coordination of the team, during the project and mission. Once
project management, satellite design, inserted into LEO orbit, the satellite will

Figure 13. KUTESat-2 System Architecture

fabrication and testing; integration of the communicate using HAM UHF and
payloads; and mission operations. The eventually S-Band radio frequencies. KCP
KUTESat-2 system is divided into four main will provide the technical support to set up
elements: space segment, ground segment, the S-Band ground station and to conduct
launch system, and users (payload providers the communication tests with TDRS.
and investigators). The space segment
consists of the KUTESat-2 satellite, which
in turn is comprised of the spacecraft bus

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
Organization Fig. 14 shows the organization chart of the
The organization to be used in the KU personnel. Under the leadership of the
development of the KUTESat-2 Mission Project Manager, there will be three major
will be typical for small satellite functional groups: Electronics, which is
development. There will be a principal comprised of avionics and communications
investigator (Dr. Trevor Sorensen) and a co- (both space and ground segments);
investigator (Dr. Glenn Prescott) who will Mechanical, which includes the satellite
act as advisors. The program manager, under structures and mechanisms; and Mission
the PI and the co-I, will be a post-doctoral Operations. Each subsystem will have a
student who is now pursuing a Doctor of Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)
Engineering (D.E.) degree. He has been assigned to it. In addition to the KU
chosen since he currently is the project personnel shown, each agency providing
manager for the KUTESat-1 (Pathfinder) payload and technical support will have at
mission and will be able to give continuity least one engineer that will provide the
to the KUTESat-2 team effort. The necessary interface support for their
KUTESat Program also has the benefit of an payloads.
expert advisor, Stan Sneegas, LtCol, USAF
(ret.). The integration of the students will be
planned such that we will be able to
Dr. Trevor Sorensen

Dr. Glenn Prescott

Project Manager
Post Doc

Electronics Group Mission Operations Mechanical Group

Technician 1 GRA + volunteers 2 GRAs + 1 UG + volunteers

Avionics Team Bus Structure

1 GRA Team Lead Communication
1 GRA + volunteers 1 GRA + volunteers
EPS S-Band


1 GRA + volunteers

Figure 14. Organization Chart for KU Team

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
capitalize on the knowledge and experience it will count on the experience maturated
acquired during the Pathfinder mission. during the previous years.
Before being assigned a major task, every
new student will have to work with an EDUCATIONAL IMPACT
experienced student and participate in
training classes. It is expected that The educational importance of a program
undergraduate and volunteers will join the such as KUTESat starts with providing
team as well, and they will perform under several graduate students the opportunity to
the guidelines of their team leader (a GRA). work on their thesis projects using topics of
DoD and NASA relevance and reaching to
Schedule high school students, giving them an
The development span for KUTESat-2 is opportunity to learn more about science and
two years. The major milestones have been space.
identified from project start in June, 2005
until it is ready for delivery to the launch During the first phase of the program
provider by 2007. For each milestone there (Pathfinder project), five students have used
will be a presentation with contribution from it for their Master of Science theses or
all the KUTESat-2 team members and Doctorate Degree dissertation. Under the PI
payload providers. The major reviews of the supervision, they have taken several classes
program will be the Systems Requirements related to space (e.g., AE765 Orbital
Review (SRR), the Preliminary Design Mechanics, AE766 Spacecraft Attitude
Review (PDR), the Critical Design Review Dynamics and Control, AE760 Spacecraft
(CDR), and the Flight Readiness Review Systems, and AE751 Rocket Propulsion)
(FRR). and management (e.g., EMGT813 Design
Project Management). Experience gathered
PM Methodology during the design of the Pathfinder satellite
A standard satellite development has been invaluable. Other graduate students
methodology and project management have earned class credit (special problems or
techniques will be used in the execution of readings in engineering courses) for working
the KUTESat program. The Project Manager on the Pathfinder project. In December
is experienced and will develop a Project 2003, one graduate student, Suzanne
Management Plan (PMP) that contains the Thompson, won the first place Gold Medal
project description, schedule, budgets, Work in the international student paper
Breakdown Structure (WBS), competition (graduate level) at the 10th
documentation list, systems engineering ISCOPS conference in Tokyo, Japan for a
plan, etc. The schedule for each satellite will paper on the design and implementation of
contain several reviews, mentioned in the the dosimeter RADFET payload on
previous section. Pathfinder.14 She is currently employed as
an engineer at NASA JPL in the Mission
The Pathfinder mission was designed to Assurance Branch doing spacecraft
allow the students involved to become reliability and space environment analysis.
familiar with the execution approach and to
learn how to optimize every step. This will There are three ways in which
be a great advantage for the successful undergraduate students can help the program
completion of the KUTESat-2 mission, since and benefit from it. The first one is being a
volunteer. More than a dozen students have

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
offered their time to help in the development communicates with the others and shares the
of the Pathfinder satellite. They are driven processing, communications, and payload or
only by their interest in space, and are fired mission functions. This type of a distributed
by their passion. Some students decide to system has several advantages: (1) system-
work on the program during the summer or level robustness and graceful degradation,
school year to obtain academic credits (e.g., and (2) distributed capabilities for
AE592 Special Problems in Aerospace). surveillance and science measurements built
With this system they are under the direct into the system architecture. There are a
supervision of the program manager, who number of technology advancements needed
leads them and allocates them to the to operationalize and enable tactical
different subsystems, basing his decision on missions. These advancements include
the student interests, and team needs. modular ‘plug-n-play’ satellite architectures
Seniors also take a design class (AE or and components; high performance tactical
EECS), which allows them to obtain downlinks; adaptable, agile propulsion
practical information on the design of systems, and lean manufacturing, assembly
spacecraft and spacecraft’s electronics, and test. AFRL is in the business of
while applying their knowledge directly on a identifying and demonstrating emerging new
satellite. The Spring 2003 senior design technologies for space systems. The
classes in Aerospace Engineering and integration of plug and play in conjunction
Electrical Engineering designed, built and with chalcogenide RAM (C-RAM) in the
tested the KU High Altitude Balloon System nano-satellite will go far to demonstrate the
to support the KUBESat precursor flights. advantage of both. It will demonstrate the
cost- and time- advantage of plug and play
Since the Fall of 2002, the project manager interfaces defined dynamically, as the
has been invited to local high-schools to configuration of the C-RAM interface will
present the KUTESat program and explain not be known until very close to the launch.
the willingness to have the opportunity for At the same time, the flight demonstration of
their collaboration and participation in the a low-power, rad-hard, non-volatile memory
program. It is important to create a network will surely lead to the insertion in a variety
that will allow us to jointly create of space systems. KUTESat-2 is being used
opportunities for those students that want to to demonstrate these technologies and
increase their school preparation toward a elements, which could provide improved
college degree. responsiveness in future Air Force space
Essential to the problem of fleet satellite
RELEVANCE TO DoD protection is reducing the latency of attack
The DoD is interested in using nanosats to reporting and fusing and disseminating
perform space experiments, demonstrate information for hundreds of space assets.
new technology, develop operational Currently in DoD, no such system exists.
systems, and integrate advanced responsive Attack reporting, for example, is ad hoc, and
space system technology. One potential no information sharing/coordination occurs
operational application of nanosats is using across the DoD / US satellite fleet. This
clusters of microsatellites that operate problem can be solved by establishing the
cooperatively to perform the function of a technology for "Emergency 911 for
larger, single satellite. Each smaller satellite satellites" and a fusion / dissemination

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
network and requiring all DoD and/or US such as constellations, formation flying,
satellites to install this capability. It is inspector satellites and in-space construction
envisioned that the technology do this can also be explored via these missions.
involves a cell-phone size cube with a small Specifically, the KUTESat-2 mission tests
omnidirectional antenna. When activated, a technologies useful in NASA’s solar sail
small S-band transmitter provides a near missions among others. The proposed
instant notification using pager-like research particularly addresses NASA
messages through existing TDRS system research priorities JPL4.7 – Integrated Space
(NASA). This capability will be Microsystems, which states: “advanced
demonstrated with an experiment on technology development of highly
KUTESat-2. miniaturized, highly capable, autonomous,
and long-term survivable avionics systems
RELEVANCE TO NASA for deep space as well as Earth orbiting
NASA’s objectives are very similar to that platforms.” and JPL4.10 - Micro Electro-
of AFRL. NASA views nanosats as a rapid Mechanical Systems (MEMS),
and low-cost technology platform for the Nanotechnology, which includes: “novel
space testing of a broad range of MEMS and sensors, detectors, actuators, and other
nanotechnologies as well as new mission subsystems for space flight systems; new
architectures. Additional goals include as technologies, MEMS, submicron
functional components of future missions lithography,...”
and for the education of the next generation
of the nation’s space workforce. CONCLUSION

A major problem that is common to NASA A major need that has been recognized by
and the AFRL is the so-called “Mid TRL the Department of Defense in the future is
Gap”. This is where new technologies and the ability to rapidly deploy space assests
mission concepts find it hard to make it past that can be of a tactical as well as strategic
the “Testing in a relevant environment nature. Through the current efforts of the
(space)” gate required to gain acceptance DoD Office of Force Transformation, such a
into missions. The chief problem has been capability is in the early stages of
the lack of a rapid, low-cost space testing development. It is crucial to the success of
mechanism to retire risks during the early this effort to be able to design, develop, and
development of a new technology or mission test reliable, cheap, and standardized
architecture. University nanosat programs, components, subsystems, and spacecraft
such as KUTESat-2, offer exciting, low-cost buses. These require to be tested in actual
solutions to this problem of acquiring “space space flight, as quickly and economically as
heritage” for new technologies and mission possible. Universities can contribute in this
concepts. These programs can undertake area, and the KUTESat-2 project can
higher risk missions that would be otherwise contribute to the realization of the
avoided by the more conservative mission responsive space goal by providing a cheap
planners. Thus new MEMS and and rapid flight testbed for these miniature
nanotechnologies related to avionics, and standardized technolgies that will be of
guidance and control, communications, direct benefit to the mission of DoD and the
imaging and instrumentation are offered a AFRL, NASA, and the DOE. However,
rapid and low-cost approach to space KUTESat-2 also contributes to satisfying a
testing. Similarly, new mission architectures critical need recognized by DoD and NASA.

AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005
A shortage of engineers and scientists in the Deployer and a CubeSat Class Picosatellite,”
space industry is expected shortly. P-302, IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big
KUTESat-2 will be designed and built Sky, Montana, March, 2001.
mainly by students, who will be working 8. Nason, I., Puig-Suari, J., and Twiggs,
closely with professionals in the industry. R.J., “Development of a Family of
This is the type of mission that can excite Picosatellite Deployers Based on the
young people, leading to the practical CubeSat Standard,” IEEE Aerospace
education that will make the students instant Conference, Big Sky, Montana, March,
contributors when they enter the industry. It 2002.
will also provide an example for other 9. Shaffner, J.A., “The Electronic System
universities in executing a satellite program Design, Analysis, Integration and
in cooperation with government and Construction of the Cal Poly State
industry. University CP1 CubeSat,” 16th Annual
AIAA/USU Small Satellite Conference,
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AIAA-3 Responsive Space Conference 2005