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It's Crunch Time

13/09/17


Team Leader Ronan Wall began this week’s EIRSAT-1 meeting by reminding us all that it’s ‘crunch time’. With 2 weeks to go until the deadline for our documents to be sent to the Fly Your Satellite! team, the meeting began on a serious note – we must get these documents finished.


Building a satellite is an exciting experience – each meeting has been filled with a huge amount of enthusiasm as we each develop our own subsystems and begin to piece things together. But we also need reminding that in order to get EIRSAT-1 off the ground, we need to pass a series of reviews set by the Fly Your Satellite! team.

On this note, the meeting moved onto the weekly student presentations. This week featured two presentations from the Attitude Determination and Control Systems (ADCS) team. What is Attitude Determination and Control? Simply put, it is how we control the movements of EIRSAT-1. UCD visiting student Victorio Ubeda told us about the design of the ADCS for EIRSAT-1.

He explained that when EIRSAT-1 is released from the International Space Station, it will be tumbling through space. The ADCS needs to slow this tumbling down and get EIRSAT-1 stable. It does this using magnetorquers. Magnetorquers work by moving the satellite using the Earth’s magnetic field – slowing down it’s rotation. The next job is keeping EIRSAT-1 powered by making sure it’s solar panels point towards the sun.

UCD student Daire Sherwin presented the simulations of EIRSAT-1’s movement, including how long it takes for EIRSAT-1 to get into position after we send it a command from the ground station. These simulations are very complicated but are necessary to make sure that EIRSAT-1 gets power from it’s solar panels.

These presentations were followed by a brainstorming session for one of our documents, the AIV plan – this is the Assembly, Integration and Verification plan. This plan details how the satellite goes from being a lot of unlinked pieces to a fully built satellite. This requires building a few different versions of each subsystem of the satellite. The development model is the ‘work in progress’. The engineering model is for testing and fixing. The Flight model is for going into space!


These next two weeks are crucial – we will be working nonstop to get these documents finished and perfected. In the meantime keep up to date with our work on our Twitter @EIRSAT-1.

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