Towards the Use of Commercial-off-the-Shelf Small-Satellite Components for Deep-Space CubeSats: a Feasibility and Performance Analysis

S. Casini, I. Fodde, S. Engelen, Bert Monna, A. Cervone, E.K.A. Gill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to assess the feasibility of using currently available commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) small-satellites components in deep-space scenarios, studying their applicability and performance. To evaluate the performances, an asteroid fly-by mission is briefly introduced, but several of the selection criteria and ideas can be extended to other deep space mission concepts. This particular mission scenario requires to follow three main trends: miniaturization, standardization and automation. For this reason the mission represents a good test bench scenario to analyze the products of the current small-satellites industry. Once the reference mission has been defined, the preliminary ΔV is computed and the micro-propulsion system is selected. Afterwards, for several satellite subsystems the requirements are compared with the expected performance of a set of small-satellite components currently available on the market. Once the most promising hardware solutions are identified, mass and volume budgets are defined. Subsequently, drawbacks and limits of using COTS components for deep-space exploration are highlighted, focusing on the readiness level of each subsystem. Finally, recommendations are given on what methods and hardware are needed in the near future to overcome the limiting factors and to allow deep-space exploration using low-cost CubeSats.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmallSat 2020 - 34th Small Satellite Conference
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event34th Annual Small Satellite Conference - Virtual/online event due to COVID-19
Duration: 1 Aug 20206 Aug 2020
Conference number: 34

Conference

Conference34th Annual Small Satellite Conference
Period1/08/206/08/20

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