SwRI Structural, Thermal & Mechanical Design Streamlined Production of 8 Microsats

CYGNSS's microsat structure requirements were driven by physical accommodation of the spacecraft subsystems, Delay Doppler Mapping Instrument (DDMI) electronics, DDMI antennas, command and telemetry antennas, the solar arrays, and launch configuration constraints. SwRI's design used the same principles as our heritage avionics chassis, using milled Aluminum (Al) piece parts bolted together to provide an integrated, mass efficient solution for CYGNSS. Close tolerance pins/holes ensured repeatability of structural alignment. The microsat's shape was specifically configured to allow unobstructed views of the earth for the DDMI antennas and clear nadir and zenith FOV for the command and telemetry antennas. The structure is composed of a central core that inludes an avionics bay and accommodation for the reaction wheel assembly and battery. Areas on either side of the central core provide mounting surfaces for additional microsat components. The design was coordinated with SwRI's avionics teams to ensure that structural, thermal, EMI/EMC, and radiation requirements are met.


The microsat primary structure's nadir baseplate was the Deployment Module's (DM) mechanical interface for launch. Primary shear and axial loads were carried by the microsat primary structure, providing full compliance with the dynamic payload envelope per the EV-2 LV LSP Information Summary when the constellation was integrated with the DM.


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