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Mock Satellite

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Belinda

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I'm a student currently studying Aerospace Engineering and recently we have been given an assignment to build a mock satellite. Studying my particular field I have only had limited experience when it comes to electronics and I am completely lost as to what I need to do. My part of the assignment involves the power supply. The basic design involves a 10cm cube with solar panels on each side connected to a battery. Obviously not all of the sides of the cube will be facing light at the same time so I need to stop the battery from supplying power to the cells that aren't facing the sun. I also need to measure the voltages and currents from each solar cell and the battery and I need to make sure that there isn't too much power being supplied to the battery from the solar cells. We have been given a microcontroller (ATMEL AT90S8535). If anyone could suggest anything I would be so appreciative.
Thanks
Belinda
 

tansis

New Member
A tough assignment for any us.
Can you post additional info for the solar cell array , battery dimensions and the power requirement specs for the mission payload?
How much of the internal volume has been assigned for your power supply?
 

stevez

Active Member
Some things to think about - the cells will respond to light from the sun and also light reflected from the earth - not sure if you need to consider that. Solar energy isn't constant though the variation might not be enough to consider in your design. The angle of the solar panel with respect to the sun and earth will impact the amount of energy each cell generates. I'd guess that the maximum a cell could generate would be in the strongest sunlight with solar output at peak - the minimum being almost nothing if you are on the dark side of the earth. It would seem that each cell could be either of the extremes and anything in between.

Your control should probably look at output capability of each cell as well as be aware of the battery condition - and direct the power where and if needed. I'd start by making a block diagram of what you have then start thinking about how to ascertain cell output capability, battery level and don't forget the optimum charging conditions for the battery. Rotation of the satellite might be a concern if it rotates fast enough.
 
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