Spring C3 Goals and Schedule

Mar 12, 2019chevron-down
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Spring C3 Goals and Schedule


  1. Build of an engineering model of BeaverCube

  2. Environmental testing of BeaverCube in STARLab

  3. Launch of a ocean-sensing high-altitude balloon


  1. Build of an engineering model of BeaverCube






Overview, conops, requirements, break out into sessions



Study what is necessary to build things






Ordering components



Building 1



Building 2



Building 3



Debugging 1



Debugging 2



Assembling 1



Assembling 2



Final Presentation

Teams - 3 - 4 students per team


Hardware - Structures and Integration

Radio and Communications

Software - Command and Data Handling

Sensors (Payload)

Power and Thermal

Ground Systems

Structure of the day:

4:00-4:05: Students arrive

4:05-4:25: Stand up discussion of group progress/problems/goals

4:25-5:00: Working in groups

5:00-5:10: break (pizza)

5:10-5:45: Working in groups

5:45-6:00: Wrap-up and writing down progress from day and goals for next week

Student Outcomes:

  1. Understanding the requirements of the CubeSat - Engineering requirements and Concept of Operations (we write those and give/discuss with them)

  2. Systems engineering/price/feasibility for the system

Reminders for us:

  • Push them to make documentation

  • Have office hours on friday afternoon/evening for the students that wanna come

  • Have mentors come from 5:15 to 5:45 to help teams: Bobby, Greg, Will

Action Items:

All of us:

  • Write up UROP position (2)

    • Technical

    • learning/educational (Wellesley?)


  • Invite people from STAR Lab to be mentors

  • Let Avery and Devora know how 16.343 went

  • Try to break down the schedule in subsystems, with help from mentors


  • Send out google form to students

  • Finalize schedule and class structure

  • Create budget for materials/food

  • Ask Joe P for shop training for Paula



  • Maybe no need to launch from a boat. The winds will push the balloon to the ocean. Just attention to the airport and buildings.

  • Write a blurb of many UROPS and get an “army of UROPS” - maybe 6 UROPS, one per group?

  • Walk through a decision making process, but do not have them design (timeeee)

  • Get the camera before hand

  • Sensors: pressure, temperature, camera IR, camera VIS -- Bobby?

  • First day: walk them through, let them choose a couple of sensors/components

  • Buy 2 or 3 (they break)

  • Not to disappoint kids: have a real time video transmitting down!

  • We could do cloud top temperatures over the land and recover the satellite?

  • Stable on the way up, not stable on the way down

  • RGB on the first hour on Tuesdays! :)

  • Take a look on price and lead time for the cameras:

Make beforehand:

  • Sketch power budget

  • Swap out components to compare power budgets in a spreadsheet or something

  • Mass constraint? Volume constraint? A few pounds (depends on the ballon)

  • Might need heaters

  • Make a single node thermal module for them to put numbers and play with

  • Radio: ask radio society for help

    • Have their hardware for the ground base

    • Potential UROP there?

    • Drone components?

    • Backup location transceiver?

    • Do some thinking on telemetry and data radio

  • Structures: think on how to keep it stable

    • Deployable arms? Drag?

  • Have streaming vis cameras to be able to get it (it would have its own transmitter)

  • Get the info of the IR camera and send to RGB

  • Software basically focused on transmit photos - try to make it simple

    • They can make simple sensors work themselves

    • Radio might take a longer time

    • Camera is probably going to be extra hard - they probable can’t do it themselves

    • Software on the ground station: record everything coming in and post-process it latter

  • List of all image types:

    • IR photos

    • Vis photos

    • Vis videos


Questions to Devora:

  • Can we hire UROPS? Or ask for volunteers from GWAE/SEDS/Media Lab/Radio Society?

    • Yes!

    • Good to find at least 2 for the technical

    • SEDS/GWAE will ask

    • Radio Society might help on the making

  • Why launch from a boat? Can get ocean from launching from the coast due to winds! (no boat doesn’t mean no ocean)

  • Can we measure could top instead and recover the memory card from the satellite?

    • Ocean: limited by line of sight for direct communication with MIT

    • Ocean: would need a larger radio

      • Land also has a considerable chance of not recovering, so both would need to transmit data

    • Ocean: if cloudy, could end up being cloud top anyway

      • Could we have a launch window and pick a day based on weather forecast?

    • Land: we can try to recover the payload

    • Radio: same burden, basically

    • If we get on land we could add a gopro os something

    • And it is nice not to dump stuff on the ocean

    • Land: bad that needs to drive to Albany to recover

    • Two teams

  • When is the launch planned to be?

    • June

  • What happened to the second school?

    • Sad things… :( We might get ~5 students from them

Grab items before

  • Buy 4 of Leptons

  • VIS: try to find one that is easy to plug and play but not that good

  • Buy of the VIS too

  • Talk the kids through the process of choosing what to put on the satellite

  • Nice to have a GoPro! The balloon has a mount for it! Buy that one soon too!

  • Greg: send the link of a balloon, a tracker, to buy

  • Weight x target altitude : need to know to pick a balloon

    • Altitude: 80,000 ft

    • Weight: aim for 3kg

  • 1.8 GHz L Band commercial goggle to receive stuff streaming

    • See if we could have those!

Action Items:

Paula: UROPS: put out a blurb

  • Write one technical (and maybe get two, one that helps with documentation too)

Paula: Send the links for VIS and IR cameras to avery and devora to buy

Paula: Start slides and send to everybody to take a look

Graduate Student, MIT Media Lab



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