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Open AccessArticle

Validation of a Test Platform to Qualify Miniaturized Electric Propulsion Systems

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMEAS), Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
Aerospace 2019, 6(9), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6090099
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 27 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 4 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Verification Approaches for Nano- and Micro-Satellites)
Miniaturized electric propulsion systems are one of the main technologies that could increase interest in CubeSats for future space missions. However, the integration of miniaturized propulsion systems in modern CubeSat platforms presents some issues due to the mutual interactions in terms of power consumption, chemical contamination and generated thermal and electro-magnetic environments. The present paper deals with the validation of a flexible test platform to assess the interaction of propulsion systems with CubeSat-technologies from mechanical, electrical, magnetic, and chemical perspectives. The test platform is a 6U CubeSat hosting an electric propulsion system and able to manage a variety of electric propulsion systems. The platform can regulate and distribute electric power (up to 60 W), exchange data according to several protocols (e.g., CAN bus, UART, I2C, SPI), and provide different mechanical layouts in 4U box completely dedicated to the propulsion system. Moreover, the data gathered by the onboard sensors are combined with the data from external devices and tools providing unprecedented information about the mutual behavior of a CubeSat platform and an electric propulsion system. View Full-Text
Keywords: miniaturized electric propulsion system; CubeSat technology; CubeSat verification miniaturized electric propulsion system; CubeSat technology; CubeSat verification
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Stesina, F. Validation of a Test Platform to Qualify Miniaturized Electric Propulsion Systems. Aerospace 2019, 6, 99.

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