Method for CubeSat Thermal-Vacuum Cycling Test Specification
Roy Stevenson Soler Chisabas
Daniel Fernando Cantor
Carlos De Oliveira Lino
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The CubeSat is a type of a small satellite developed for specific missions: space science, communications, technology verification, earth observation, military applications, and others. To survive the harsh launch and space environments, the CubeSats shall pass through a series of tests such as vibration, thermal-vacuum cycling test, bakeout and visual inspection. Usually for CubeSat missions, reliability is regarded as low priority and most of tests are specified just for launch vehicle requirements attendance. The authors’ bibliographic review showed a lack of information about how to specify CubeSats tests. This paper focuses on thermal-vacuum cycling test. This test is necessary to evaluate the satellite survivability under the thermal environment and verify the absence of workmanship errors and materials defects. Specifically, the objective of this paper is to bring to the CubeSat community a method to establish comprehensive and coherent thermal-vacuum specifications. The use of this method aims to increase CubeSat systems reliability and therefore mission success.