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Deep Space Hardware (MARS)

Posted by: rpspeck - Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:57 am
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Deep Space Hardware (MARS) 
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Post 1/2 Gram Video Camera   Posted on: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:09 pm
We are working at the moment to integrate a ½ Gram (!) Video Camera (with near Broadcast image quality) into our 25 gram “Space Probeâ€


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Post More on 1/2 Gram Star Trackers and Ultralight Spacecraft   Posted on: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:57 pm
As noted by others in Forum responses to my discussion of low mass “Star Trackersâ€


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Post Visible Lunar Lander Progress   Posted on: Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:49 pm
I was able to attend the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Competition in Las Cruses, New Mexico Last week. It was good to see both completion of one Round Trip (90 second legs) flight profile, and to see a second team in the air with a FAA licensed flight! “TrueZer0â€


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Post GLXP Mass Still Growing Smaller   Posted on: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:58 pm
I have just added a near one gram HDTV Camera, capable of meeting the Google Prize requirements, to Micro-Space prototype parts. Recognizing that the landed mass of a GLXP winner could be as small as One Kilogram, our systems may grow very small indeed! We have also downsized our minimum Radio Link (for the HDTV transmission) to a few grams. At this mass, the initial mass in LEO might be as little as 10 to 20 kg, with a launch cost of $100 Thousand (NOT Millions!).

The lightest system will have No Rover. Since very accurate performance is required for the lander, this craft can easily perform the required displacements as subsequent “Hopsâ€


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Post Progress   Posted on: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:43 pm
My newly purchased HDTV camera actually weights in at 0.4 grams! It has only a simple lens, not a Zoom model. For the GLXP imaging it will be necessary to add a small “Converterâ€


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Post Refractory Motors   Posted on: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:14 am
We have begun fabrication work with refractory (high melting temperature) C-103 alloy. This Columbium (Niobium) alloy is the most common material used to make “Radiation Cooledâ€


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:17 pm
what kind of redundancy are you using in your electronics? something as small as a .4g HD camera seems like it would be unstable in the face of a solar storm or similar. while i tend to agree with you that all the "professional" opinions on electronics requirements are overblown, there's more than a grain of truth to them. i just don't know if the timescale involved is long enough that it's a big deal.

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Post Self Correcting Data and Code + Pray against "Bad Luck&   Posted on: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:52 pm
Radiation in space is generally exaggerated. The crews on Apollo 7 through 17 missions all accumulated TINY radiation doses – about 1/1000 of the “Limitâ€


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Post Lunar Light Show   Posted on: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:55 pm
In the process of developing the Laser Altimeter needed in our lander, we realized that equipping our Lander (even our lightest version) with a Laser visible from the Earth is quite feasible! A fraction of a Watt output red Diode Laser equals many “candle powerâ€


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Post GLXP - Indirect Progress   Posted on: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:18 am
Our efforts to develop a Lunar Lander for the Google Lunar X PRIZE have led us into interesting technologies with much wider applications. For example, our successful efforts to breadboard an adequate Laser Altimeter for our lander have led to Laser Interferometer capabilities with good potential for robotic and machine tool applications, as well as for monitoring precision satellite formations. Consideration of “Sample Returnâ€


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Post LTO Systems Progress   Posted on: Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:08 am
Development of the LTO (Lunar Transfer Orbit) System – necessary for Micro-Space GLXP efforts - is progressing. This system, offering flight of small, experimental payloads ABOVE LEO – has attracted attention from NASA and DARPA, since they can envision operational space hardware which will require or benefit from High Orbits. By radically reducing the cost to place experimental hardware in such orbits, the Micro-Space system can greatly accelerate experiments and operational tests of technologies to be used in Molniya, GEO, Lagrangian and other special orbits.

Our present focus is on adding the control and navigational subsystems necessary for “Upper Stageâ€


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Post    Posted on: Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:43 am
wow sounds like you guys are making a lot of progress. i'm particularly interested in your attitude control systems, and what you think would work for an N-Prize sized satellite. is attitude control even necessary on such a small and simple system? i hear that a "mag torquer" is what some microsats use but that sounds both large and not simple, any suggestions? do you know if clever selection of center of mass, moment, and a gyro could work to some degree? i can't think of an obvious reason why it wouldn't, but also no clear idea of what they would have to be. it doesn't have to be precise at all but would make picking up a signal much easier i would think.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:32 pm
Most CubeSats have no attitude control or stabilization. With "Cross Polarized" antennas - and phase shift in their feedlines - signals with modest fading can be accomplished. The transmitter antenna approximates a "Circularly Polarized" system, which at least has radiation in all directions (no zero signal points, with adjustable receiving antenna polarization).

A simple, permanent magnet will provide some stabilization in low inclination orbits. Better, add a modest "Ferrite Rod" (the antenna in an old AM Transnistor Radio). Added to the permanent magnet, this will increase the magnitic moment and magnetic torque. More important, its hysteresis will absorb energy and damp out rotation or tumbling. The rod will try to end up pointing North-South. If your satellite is somewhat flat, this rod should be the axel, and it will probably align this way.


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Post 40 Gram RCS + EMTB + Laser Interferometers   Posted on: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:33 pm
Progress is good in several areas. Our low mass Reaction Control System prototypes are going together well, with actuators, electronics and machined hardware in the prototypes. The 3.5 DOF unit will probably come in below the 40 grams mass expected, although additional mass reductions have been identified. These RCS units work with full pressure CO2 to eliminate the need for a pressure regulator. 3.5 DOF means the unit will provide bidirectional control of the “Angularâ€


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Post    Posted on: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:12 am
thanks! i'll have to look into what kind of magnet, etc once i make enough progress to be able to realistically think about those things. my only concern is being able to get enough power on the sat to support all sensors, transmitter, and any magnetic components. i haven't done enough research yet to tell what kind of battery to use, if solar cells will be needed, etc (after all it only has to do 9 orbits).

so far i'm planning on putting a temperature and magnetic field sensor on it, as well as perhaps a small camera if it will fit in the mass budget and i can figure out how to transmit video at a reasonable resolution. any ideas for other instrumentation that might be interesting?

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