Method for CubeSat Thermal-Vacuum Cycling Test Specification

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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems

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.

Roy Stevenson Soler Chisabas, National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil
Daniel Fernando Cantor, Research engineer, Colombia
Geilson Loureiro, National Institute for Space Research - INPE, Brazil
Carlos De Oliveira Lino, National Institute for Space Research - INPE, Brazil
ICES107: Thermal Design of Microsatellites, Nanosatellites, and Picosatellites
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017
Thermal-Vacuum Cycling Test, CubeSat, Test Specification, Testing