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Spring C3 Goals and Schedule

Published onMar 12, 2019
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


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