Date of Award

5-2013

Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Jordi Puig-Suari

Abstract

A vibration model was developed for CubeSats inside the Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD). CubeSats are fixed in the Z axis of deployers, and therefore resonate with deployer peaks. CubeSats generally start fixed in the X and Y axes, and then settle into an isolated position. CubeSats do not resonate with deployers after settling into an isolated position. Experimental data shows that the P-POD amplifies vibration loads when CubeSats are fixed in the deployer, and vibration loads are reduced when the CubeSats settle into an isolated position. A concept for a future deployer was proposed that isolates CubeSats from the deployer at the rail interface using viscoelastic foam sandwiched in the deployer rails. By creating an isolator frequency far below the deployer resonant frequency, CubeSats loads are not amplified at the deployer’s resonant peak. Feasibility tests show that CubeSat vibration loads can be reduced to 50% of the vibration input in certain cases. Testing also shows that it is much easier to define vibration loads for isolated CubeSats than CubeSats in the current P-POD.

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