Aurora Flight Sciences
In 2013, the summer of my senior year in high school, I won a fellowship award from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). As part of the fellowship, I worked at Aurora Flight Sciences where I was introduced to SolidWorks and BOM management. I had many great mentors during the internship that taught me how to differentiate good CAD from bad CAD, problem solve, and how to use more tools in the machine shop. During this time, I had a chance to work on a variety of projects for Aurora, NASA and DARPA. The material below is non-specific and only contains work that can be found online due to ITAR and proprietary restrictions.
The project removes the size, weight and power (SWaP) limitations of traditional larger satellites using a cluster of CubeSats, U-class spacecraft, while keeping the costs to a minimum.
I was tasked to update a 3D model of the MotherCube for use in AGI STK in order to analyze the orbits of the CubeSat cluster in order to optimize signal coverage while minimizing the amount of propellant used. The SolidWorks model can be seen to the right. I designed the orbit of the clusters by altering the eccentricity and longitude of ascending node of the orbit path. I then used a Long Vertical/Long Horizontal (LVLH) reference frame to design a series of constraints that would keep the orbiting satellites in an equilateral triangular position.
The GPS antennas of the satlet changed throughout the design process due to the need for an increasingly powerful patch antenna to get the results that we wanted. This resulted in changes in the body of the satlet. I set clearances on these holes and created mounting brackets that were both easy to manufacture and effective.
As part of the project, I also researched and compiled a list of the different CubeSats in operation along with various specifications such as the mission of the CubeSat, the payload, size, and mass.