Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Eric Mehiel


Testing is an integral part of a satellite’s development, requirements verification and risk mitigation efforts. A robust test program serves to verify construction, integration and assembly workmanship, ensures component, subsystem and system level functionality and reduces risk of mission or capability loss on orbit.

The objective of this thesis was to develop a detailed test program for pico-satellites with a focus on the Cal Poly CubeSat architecture. The test program established a testing baseline from which other programs or users could tailor to meet their needs. Inclusive of the test program was a detailed decomposition of discrete and derived test requirements compiled from the CubeSat and Launch Vehicle communities, military guidelines, and industry standards. The test requirements were integrated into a methodical, efficient and risk adverse test flow for verification.