Design of a Solar Panel Deployment and Tracking System for Pocketqube Pico-Satellite

Li, D., Harkness, P. and Walkinshaw, T. (2017) Design of a Solar Panel Deployment and Tracking System for Pocketqube Pico-Satellite. In: 2017 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, 4-11 Mar 2017, (doi:10.1109/AERO.2017.7943910)

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Abstract

Modularized small satellites will have even greater potential with better energy supply. In this paper, a PocketQube solar panel deployment and tracking system will be presented. The system is designed for a 3P PocketQubes. During the designing phase, trade-off analysis is done to meet the balance of weight, dimension and efficiency. Reliability, manufacturability, and cost are also considered from the beginning, as commercial production and launch are expected. The CAD design, dynamics analysis, motion simulation, and rendering for the project are undertaken by Solidworks, whereas Abaqus CAE is utilized for the finite element analysis of the vibration test of the panels. In the gimbal subsystem, we use two micro stepper motor to drive the panels via a two-axis gearbox, enabling the panels to track the sun omnidirectionally. In the panel subsystem, two types of customized spring hinges are designed. Robust and verified parts, such as burner resistors, are chose for the control and deployment system. After the continuous optimization process throughout the design phase, by comparing different manufacturing processes technologies, materials, and design details, the full scale prototypes of the gimbal subsystem were built and tested. In the end, the most feasible solution, as well as the suggestions for the development, were put forward.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Harkness, Dr Patrick
Authors: Li, D., Harkness, P., and Walkinshaw, T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 IEEE
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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