Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Dr Faysal Kolkailah


CubeSats, specially the 6U standard, is nowadays the tendency where many developers point towards. The upscaling size of the standard and payloads entail the increase of the satellite overall mass. Composite materials have demonstrated the ability to fulfill expectations like reducing structural masses, having been applied to different types of spacecraft, including small satellites.

This Thesis is focused on designing, manufacturing, and dynamic testing of a 6U CubeSat made of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and aluminum.

The main objective of this study was obtaining a mass reduction of a 6U CubeSat structure, maintaining the stiffness and strength. Considering the thermal effects of the used materials an outgassing test of the used materials was performed and the experimental results are presented.

The CubeSat structure was entirely manufactured and tested at Cal Poly Aerospace Engineering Department facilities. A mechanical shock test and random vibration test were performed using a shock table and a shake table respectively. Results of both tests are presented. A correlation between the Experimental data and the Finite Element Model of the satellite was carried out. Finally, a comparison between 6U structure studied and aluminum 6U structures available in the market is presented.