Another week of hard work has gone by, which means it was time for the EIRSAT-1 team to assemble for our weekly meeting on Friday August 18th. The team are busy writing documents for the Critical Design Review. In these documents, the team must outline the technical details of all of the spacecraft’s subsystems – from communications to on board data handling. We must discuss the design and testing of our two payloads, EMOD and GMOD, and simulations we have ran. These documents need to be sent to the Fly Your Satellite team soon, so between testing and analysing our subsystems and writing these documents, each week is getting busier as we approach the deadline.
Our team meeting began as usual with a 2 minute review from each of the team members. This week comprised of meetings with suppliers and industry partners, writing documents, thermal testing of the spacecraft components and much more.
3 students then gave presentations on their work. MSc student Shane Moran began by presenting his work on the On Board Data Handling (OBDH) of the satellite. He talked us through how the system will reset itself if the satellite undergoes a power overload, or current spike. He also outlined the software used to handle data on board.
MEng student Hao Lu then presented the EIRSAT-1 Model design of EMOD, one of our payloads. His work has involved modelling different ways of securing the EMODpanels onto the satellite. These panels will be covered with Enbio Ltd. SolarWhite and SolarBlack coatings and their response to heat will be measured on EIRSAT-1. They must be secured in a way that will not react adversely to heat and will not interfere with the temperature of the panels.
MSc Student Jessica Erkal presented the EIRSAT-1 communications system, which determines how information is sent to and from EIRSAT-1. We must take many measurements on both of our payloads, GMOD and EMOD, and send these back to earth. GMOD will be measuring the energy of gamma-ray photons that hit it, and EMOD will be taking temperature measurements. Each of these measurements, along with the time and position at which they were taken, must be relayed back to our ground station in UCD. However, EIRSAT-1 will be on an ISS orbit, which means that it will only pass UCD ~3 times a day. This is a very complex system, and Jess talked us through it all.
The meeting drew to a close by discussing any issues that have arisen over the week – for example, sections of documents which need attention. The meeting ended with a renewed reminder of the work that lies ahead. Each meeting reminds us of the progress that we have made so far, and each of us are proud of the work that the team are doing. We have a lot more work to do and goals to meet – we will keep you updated on how it is going!