AggieSat4

AggieSat4 logo

AggieSat2, the 5-inch cube picosatellite built by undergraduate and graduate students of Texas A&M’s AggieSat Lab, was released into orbit on 30 July 2009. The picosatellite was deployed from STS-127 Space Shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay. It communicated with the AggieSat team at the ground control station for the first time later that evening.

AggieSat2 was one of two satellites deployed from Endeavour. The other satellite, Bevo-1, was built by students from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in a joint multi-mission project with NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) called LoneStar.

AggieSat2 downlinked information about its position by using the on-board GPS (global positioning system), called DRAGON, developed by NASA Johnson Space Center. Information from the satellite was transmitted to a ground station set up on TAMU’s Riverside campus and collected by students in their control room in the AggieSat Lab. The information was sent to NASA, where it was compared with NASA’s predictions to check the new GPS for accuracy.

AggieSat2 passed over College Station on average at least once every day until its deorbit over the Pacific Ocean on 17 March 2010. In fact, the students even communicated with the satellite 4 hours before it deorbited. Sustaining 230 days of operation, its mission lasted much longer than expected. The students also learned a great deal from their first flight experience about documentation, integration and testing, and time management, making AggieSat2 a successful project.


In the fall of 2010, the AggieSat team began work on a detailed design of the AggieSat4 (AGS4) spacecraft, a bigger 50 kilogram satellite, for the second mission of the LoneStar campaign. LoneStar Mission 2 consists of AGS4 and Bevo-2 from UT Austin. With Bevo-2 being a 3-U cubesat integrated into (inside) AggieSat4, the combined spacecraft were delivered to JSC on 3 November 2015, launched as soft stowage on OA-4 on 6 December 2015, and planned for release from the International Space Station (ISS) in January 2016 via JSC’s new Cyclops release mechanism. The objectives for this mission include relative-navigation solutions, three-axis stabilization, intersatellite communications, DRAGON GPS system characterization, and visual capability. In addition, after release from ISS, system checkout, and stabilization, AggieSat4 will release Bevo-2 to begin pointing, tracking, and relative navigation operations.



AggieSat4 Management


The manager and coordinator of AggieSat4 project activities is the Principal Investigator, Dr. Helen Reed.  She plans and directs the project; serves as the primary contact with NASA; and ensures that the work proceeds according to contract agreements. She conducts regular dialogue and status reviews with NASA. She participates in the timely resolution of any problems. She is responsible for all the required reporting for the program. The AggieSat Lab conducts its projects as follows: The AggieSat4 project is entirely student staffed and run, with daily oversight from Dr. Reed. Graduate students lead, manage, participate in all decisions and activities, and oversee CM/QA. An extracurricular team of undergraduate and graduate students (freshmen through PhD; all disciplines – engineering and non-engineering; 90% undergraduate; typically 25 per semester) is responsible for: requirements flowdown and traceability; safety; concepts, research, design; reviews; integration, testing; delivery; on-orbit operations; and data collection, report out, lessons learned. Students serve as Program Manager (PM), Subsystem Leads (payload; structures, mechanisms, thermal; attitude, orbit control; electrical power; command, data handling; communications), and team members.



Facilities


AggieSat Lab, whose organizational home is in the Aerospace Engineering Department at TAMU, is available and adequate for this proposal. Participants must comply with ITAR; Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) is registered with the State Department and monitors Technology Control Plans and all participants are U.S. citizens. Strict Configuration Management and Quality Assurance practices are in place. The Lab has ~3400 sq ft of dedicated access-controlled and -monitored space, and supports satellite hardware and software design, prototyping, and fabrication, including secure storage area. The Lab’s ground station consists of a tower-based radio station, operating on the amateur portions of VHF and UHF bands and the 2.4 GHz ISM band. The Lab maintains FCC approval for all bands. High data rate upgrades are planned for Spring/Summer 2015 to support AggieSat4 (LoneStar Mission 2) with NASA Johnson Space Center.



LoneStar Program Overview


Sponsored by the Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Division (AFMD) at Johnson Space Center (JSC), LoneStar* is a multi-year multi-mission collaborative program between the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) AggieSat Lab and the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) with the purpose of developing autonomous rendezvous and docking (ARD) technologies. Each mission is designed to incrementally test complex systems needed to achieve a proximity operations demonstration between a TAMUS and UT Austin spacecraft by the final mission. The prior missions test various aspects and combinations of navigation tools, docking and release mechanisms, attitude determination and control, communications (including crosslink), and propulsion needed for final flight of the campaign.

*Low earth Orbiting Navigation Experiment for Spacecraft Testing Autonomous Rendezvous




AggieSat4 Detailed Information

AGS4

SolidWorks simulation of AggieSat4 on orbit, courtesy of Andrew Shell


Mass no greater than 50 kg

Dimensions 30” x 30” x 14” envelope

Demonstrate three-axis attitude determination and control (within 2 degrees), collect DRAGON carrier phase GPS data, capture video of Bevo-2 release (The Aerospace Corporation 2MPC), compute and crosslink relative navigation solutions, track Bevo-2

After release from ISS, system checkout, and stabilization, AggieSat4 will release Bevo-2 to begin pointing, tracking, and relative navigation operations.

Soft stowage to International Space Station (ISS) via OA-4 on 6 December 2015

Release from ISS through the Japanese airlock via new NASA JSC Cyclops release mechanism

***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Summer of 2015:

Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering (BS December 2012, pursuing MS), AggieSat Lab Chief Engineer
Adelin Destain, Aerospace Engineering, Project Manager
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Chief Electrical Engineer
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Student Organization President
Jake Cooper, Mechanical Engineering, Media / Public Relations / Facebook

ADCS - Attitude Determination and Control System
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Mentor
Sig Salinas, Aerospace Engineering
Andy Holm, Aerospace Engineering

COMM / CDH / VDCS - Communications / Command and Data Handling / Visual Data Camera System
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Lead, Ground Station
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Lead, On-Board

EPS - Electrical Power Systems
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Lead

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Jake Cooper, Mechanical Engineering, Lead
Daniel Ghan, Aerospace Engineering

Special thanks also for the leadership of Dr. Helen Reed and Ms. Rebecca Marianno at Texas A&M.





***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Spring of 2015:

Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering (BS December 2012, pursuing MS), AggieSat Lab Chief Engineer
Adelin Destain, Aerospace Engineering, Project Manager
Andrew Shell, History, Project Manager (until end of February 2015)
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Chief Electrical Engineer
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Student Organization President
Dexter Becklund, Aerospace Engineering, Media / Public Relations / Facebook
Jake Cooper, Aerospace Engineering, Media / Public Relations / Facebook

ADCS - Attitude Determination and Control System
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Mentor
Sig Salinas, Aerospace Engineering
Andy Holm
Ben Hardy
Daniel Mullen, Aerospace Engineering
David Alfano
Makiah Eustace

COMM / CDH / VDCS - Communications / Command and Data Handling / Visual Data Camera System
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Lead, Ground Station
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Lead, On-Board
Adelin Destain, Aerospace Engineering, Lead until end of February 2015
Michael Gaertner, Lead
Emery Annis, University of Houston, co-Lead
Brian McNeil, University of Houston
Tori Speer-Manson, University of Houston
Andrew Dorf
Garret Witowski
Sebastian Pineda

EPS - Electrical Power Systems
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Lead
Michael Walker
Nate Peirson
Austin Langley

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Daniel Ghan, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
James Felderhoff, Aerospace Engineering
Michelle Gilbert
Dexter Becklund
Jake Cooper
James Beck
Scott Stuckenschneider
Pedro Grimaldo
Sarah Michaels

Special thanks also for the leadership of Dr. Helen Reed and Ms. Rebecca Marianno at Texas A&M.





***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Fall of 2014:

Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering (BS December 2012, pursuing MS), AggieSat Lab Chief Engineer
Andrew Shell, History, Project Manager
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Student Organization President

ADCS - Attitude Determination and Control System
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Mentor
Sig Salinas, Aerospace Engineering
Karel Beetge, Aerospace Engineering
Daniel Mullen, Aerospace Engineering
Trevor Owen, Aerospace Engineering
Marco Agredano
Anthony Gardner

COMM - Communications
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Lead, Ground Station
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Lead, On-Board
Adelin Destain, Aerospace Engineering
Gabby Marshall
Tim Ryan
Michael Gaertner

EPS - Electrical Power Systems
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Lead
Marco Guzman, Aerospace Engineering
Hyder Hasan, Aerospace Engineering
Casey Aldridge
Tanner Hunt

VDCS / CDH - Visual Data Camera System / Command and Data Handling
Adelin Destain, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Emery Annis, University of Houston, co-Lead
Brian McNeil, University of Houston
Tori Speer-Manson, University of Houston

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Daniel Ghan, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
James Felderhoff, Aerospace Engineering
Michelle Gilbert
Dexter Becklund
Jake Cooper
James Beck
Pedro Grimaldo

AT LARGE
Andrew Dorf
Cody Nichols
Chris Garcia
Jocelyn Chilson
Katherine Schneider
Nicholas Morand
Rene Hernandez
Patrick Lane
Sam Gerlich
Samantha Scher
Steven Gilliam
Scott Stuckenschneider
Travis Bates
Tyler Fink
Cameron Gaertner

Special thanks also for the leadership of Dr. Helen Reed and Ms. Rebecca Marianno at Texas A&M.

 

***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Summer of 2014:

Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering (BS December 2012, pursuing MS), AggieSat Lab Chief Engineer
Andrew Shell, History, Project Manager
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Student Organization President
Stanley Jacob, Electrical Engineering, Student Organization Treasurer

ACS - Attitude Control System
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Sig Salinas, Aerospace Engineering

ADS - Attitude Determination System
Daanish Zaidi, Computer Science (University of Connecticut), Lead
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering, pursuing Ph.D.

COMM - Communications
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Lead, Ground Station
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Lead, On-Board
Sean Shumpert, Aerospace Engineering

EDS - Electrical and Data Systems
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Lead
Marco Guzman, Aerospace Engineering
Emery Annis, University of Houston, Software
Brian McNeil, University of Houston, Software

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Daniel Ghan, Aerospace Engineering, Lead

Special thanks also for the leadership of Dr. Helen Reed and Ms. Rebecca Marianno at Texas A&M.

 

***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Spring of 2014:

Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering (BS December 2012, pursuing MS), AggieSat Lab Chief Engineer
Andrew Shell, History, Project Manager
Hyder Hasan, Aerospace Engineering, Advisor and Prior Project Manager
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Student Organization President
Stanley Jacob, Electrical Engineering, Student Organization Treasurer

ACS - Attitude Control System
Karel Beetge, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering
Sean Berry
Matthew Henley, Aerospace Engineering
Sig Salinas, Aerospace Engineering
Bryan Sonneveldt, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Arizona State University)

ADS - Attitude Determination System
Daanish Zaidi, Computer Science (University of Connecticut), Lead
Craig Wilkinson, Aerospace Engineering / Physics (Wichita State University)

COMM - Communications
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Lead, Ground Station
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Lead, On-Board

EDS - Electrical and Data Systems
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Lead
Stanley Jacob, Electrical Engineering
Amnay Amimur, Aerospace Engineering
Marco Guzman, Aerospace Engineering
David Aly
Chris Stein

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Daniel Ghan, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Hyder Hasan, Aerospace Engineering
James Felderhoff
Maura Cadigan, Aerospace Engineering
Michelle Gilbert, Aerospace Engineering

VDCS - Visual Data Capture Systems
Trevor Owen, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Maggie Ligon
Daniel Mullen, Aerospace Engineering

OPS
Garrett Dykes, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Adelin Destain

AT LARGE
Kaycee Dillon
Bob Nguyen
Frank Zhong
Joseph Phan

Special thanks also for the leadership of Dr. Helen Reed and Ms. Rebecca Marianno at Texas A&M.

***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Fall of 2013:

Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering (BS December 2012, pursuing MS), AggieSat Lab Chief Engineer
Andrew Shell, History, Project Manager

ACS - Attitude Control System
Chris Cederberg, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Karel Beetge, Aerospace Engineering
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering
Sean Berry
Matthew Henley, Aerospace Engineering
Christian Barrientes
Bryan Sonneveldt, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Arizona State University)

ADCS - Attitude Determination and Control
Daanish Zaidi, Computer Science (University of Connecticut), Lead
Craig Wilkinson, Aerospace Engineering / Physics (Wichita State University)
Sig Salinas

COMM - Communications
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering

EDS - Electrical and Data Systems
Stanley Jacob, Electrical Engineering, Lead
David Aly
Roger Ramirez
Chris Stein
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Advisor

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Jace Cooley, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
James Felderhoff
Maura Cadigan
Daniel Ghan

VDCS - Visual Data Capture Systems
Trevor Owen, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Maggie Ligon
Daniel Mullen

OPS
Garrett Dykes, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Adelin Destain

AT LARGE
Kaycee Dillon

Special thanks also for the leadership of Dr. Helen Reed and Ms. Rebecca Marianno at Texas A&M.

***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Summer of 2013:

Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering (BS December 2012, pursuing MS), AggieSat Lab Chief Engineer
Angela McLelland (pursuing MS), Aerospace Engineering, AggieSat Lab Graduate Manager & Mentor
Hyder Hasan, Aerospace Engineering, Project Manager

ADCS - Attitude Determination and Control
Andrew Shell, History, Lead
Bryan Sonneveldt, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Arizona State University), Summer USRG at AggieSat Lab
Craig Wilkinson, Aerospace Engineering / Physics (Wichita State University), Summer USRG at AggieSat Lab
Daanish Zaidi, Computer Science (University of Connecticut), Summer Volunteer at AggieSat Lab
Karel Beetge, Aerospace Engineering, Away at Summer Internship
Chris Cederberg, Aerospace Engineering, Away at Summer Internship
Matthew Henley, Aerospace Engineering, Away at Summer Internship

COMM - Communications
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Away at Summer Internship
Brandon Bordovsky, Aerospace Engineering, Away at Summer Internship

DRAGON - GPS
Daanish Zaidi, Computer Science (University of Connecticut), Summer Volunteer at AggieSat Lab, Lead
Craig Wilkinson, Aerospace Engineering / Physics (Wichita State University), Summer USRG at AggieSat Lab
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering, Away for Space Scholars Program at AFRL Kirtland AFB
Sergio Avedillo, Computer Engineering

EDS - Electrical and Data Systems
Travis Pollok, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Jessica Daniel, Industrial Engineering
Stanley Jacob, Electrical Engineering
Maggie Ligon, XXX
Zachary Partal, Computer Engineering
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Away for Summer Internship

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Jace Cooley, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Cesar Santoyo, Aerospace Engineering (University of Florida), Summer USRG at AggieSat Lab
Angela McLelland, Aerospace Engineering
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering, Away for Summer Internship
Jacob Shaw, Mechanical Engineering, Away for Summer Internship

VDCS - Visual Data Capture Systems
Trevor Owen, Aerospace Engineering, Lead

AT LARGE
Gabriel Aguilar, Aerospace Engineering
Kaycee Dillon, Aerospace Engineering

Special thanks also for the leadership of Dr. Helen Reed and Ms. Rebecca Marianno at Texas A&M.

***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Spring of 2013:

Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering (BS December 2012, will pursue MS), Project Manager & Chief Engineer
Hyder Hasan, Aerospace Engineering, Document Control
Sarah Atkinson, Aerospace Engineering, Document Control
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Manager & Mentor
Angela McLelland, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Manager & Mentor

ADCS - Attitude Determination and Control
Andrew Shell, History, Lead
Karel Beetge, Aerospace Engineering
Chris Cederberg, Aerospace Engineering
Matthew Henley, Aerospace Engineering
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering

COMM - Communications
Gerald Fisher, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Brandon Bordovsky, Aerospace Engineering
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Member & Graduate Mentor

DRAGON - GPS
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Sergio Avedillo, Computer Engineering

EDS - Electrical and Data Systems
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Lead
Travis Pollok, Aerospace Engineering
Stanley Jacob, Electrical Engineering
Sergio Avedillo, Computer Engineering

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Angela McLelland, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Jace Cooley, Aerospace Engineering
Jacob Shaw, Mechanical Engineering

Special thanks also for the leadership of Dr. Helen Reed and Ms. Rebecca Marianno at Texas A&M.

***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Fall of 2012:

Hyder Hasan, Aerospace Engineering, Project Manager
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Chief Engineer
Angela McLelland, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Manager & Mentor
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Manager & Mentor
Sarah Atkinson, Aerospace Engineering, Document Control

ADCS - Attitude Determination and Control
Andrew Shell, History, Lead
Karel Beetge, Aerospace Engineering
Chris Cederberg, Aerospace Engineering
Matthew Henley, Aerospace Engineering
Mitchel McDonald, Aerospace Engineering
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Mentor

COMM - Communications
Gerald Fisher, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Brandon Bordovsky, Aerospace Engineering

DRAGON - GPS
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering, Lead

EDS - Electrical and Data Systems
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Lead
Travis Pollok, Aerospace Engineering, Deputy Lead
Sam Mutschler, Aerospace Engineering, Member (and Prior AggieSat4 Project Manager)
Mark Baker, Aerospace Engineering
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Mentor

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Alan Jones, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Jace Cooley, Aerospace Engineering
Logan Fleming, Aerospace Engineering

Special thanks also for the leadership of Mr. John Graves and Dr. Helen Reed, and the partnership with Dr. Gregory Huff and his Electromagnetic and Microwave Laboratory team at Texas A&M.

***SPECIAL NOTE: The following students are to be particularly recognized and commended for the progress and professional contributions that they made as the AggieSat4 team during the Summer of 2012:

Hyder Hasan, Aerospace Engineering, Project Manager & Systems Engineer
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Manager & Mentor
Angela McLelland, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Manager & Mentor

ADCS - Attitude Determination and Control
Andrew Shell, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Steven Anderson, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Mentor
Karel Beetge, Aerospace Engineering
Chris Cederberg, Aerospace Engineering
Austin Probe, Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Mentor

COMM - Communications
Andrew Tucker, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Gerald Fisher, Aerospace Engineering, Deputy Lead
Brandon Bordovsky, Aerospace Engineering, Assistant Deputy

DRAGON - GPS
Will Hafer, Aerospace Engineering, Lead

EDS - Electrical and Data Systems
Robert Singletary, Electrical Engineering, Lead
Travis Pollok, Aerospace Engineering, Deputy Lead
Sam Mutschler, Aerospace Engineering, Member (and Prior AggieSat4 Project Manager)
Mark Baker, Aerospace Engineering

SMTRS - Structures, Mechanisms, Thermal, Radiation
Zach Zukowski, Aerospace Engineering, Lead
Lucy Hatherill, Aerospace Engineering, Deputy Lead
Brittney Flaherty, Engineering Science (SUNY Orange, Middletown NY), Member
Alan Jones, Aerospace Engineering

Special thanks also for the leadership of Mr. John Graves and Dr. Helen Reed, and the partnership with Dr. Gregory Huff and his Electromagnetic and Microwave Laboratory team at Texas A&M.