Jacob Willis, Dallon Glick, Riley Creer, Brigham Young University
The Passive Inspection Cube Satellites (PICs) are a pair of visible light imaging satellites intended for inspecting the exterior of spacecraft. A major part of the design of these 1U (10x10x10 cm) CubeSats is designing and integrating a 360×180 degree multi-camera imaging system. Many system level requirements and performance measures are affected by the choice of cameras, and a thorough study was conducted to make the selection. This process required multidisciplinary interaction between the mechanical, optical, power, and computer engineering students involved in the project. The analysis concluded that commercial availability, simplicity of electrical integration, lower power draw and small size are the key factors for selecting the PIC camera system. Based on these requirements, two camera models were selected and preliminary evaluations completed; only one camera model passed the evaluation. A design was developed for integrating six of the selected cameras into the PIC computer processing and mechanical subsystems. Implementing this interface to the cameras proved as challenging as selecting the camera model. After completion, the imaging subsystem underwent testing to meet timing and image quality specifications and was integrated into the remaining satellite subsystems. System testing is ongoing and is validating the camera system. The lessons learned from completing this design will be passed forward to future generations of student satellite projects. Launch of the satellite will occur in Spring of 2018 and mission operations will continue through 2018.