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CubeSub: A CUBESAT BASED SUBMERSIBLE TESTBED FOR SPACE TECHNOLOGY
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Flight Dynamics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This report is a Master’s Thesis in Aerospace Engineering, performed at the NASA Ames Research Center. It describes the development of the CubeSub, a submersible testbed compatible with the CubeSat form factor. The CubeSub will be used to mature technology and operational procedures to be used in space exploration, and possibly also as a tool for exploration of Earthly environments. CubeSats are carried as payloads, either containing technology to be tested or experiments and sensors for scientific use.

The CubeSub is designed to be built up by modules, which can be assembled in different configurations to fulfill different needs. Each module is powered individually and intermodular communication is wireless, reducing the need for wiring. The inside of the hull is flooded with ambient water to simplify the interaction between payloads and surrounding environment. The overall torpedo-like shape is similar to that of a conventional AUV, slender and smooth. This is to make for a low drag, reduce the risk of snagging on surrounding objects and make it possible to deploy through an ice sheet via a narrow borehole. Rapid prototyping is utilized wherever possible. Full-scale prototypes have been constructed through 3D-printing and using COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) components. Arduino boards are used for control and internal communication.

Modules required for basic operation have been designed, manufactured and tested. Each module is described with regards to its function, design and manufacturability. By performing tests in a pool it was found that the basic concept is sound and that future improvements include better controllability, course stability and waterproofing of electrical components. Further development is needed to make the CubeSub usable for its intended purposes. The largest gains are expected to be found by developing the software and improving controllability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , p. 53
Series
TRITA-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 2016:22
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-198521OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-198521DiVA, id: diva2:1057226
External cooperation
NASA
Examiners
Available from: 2016-12-16 Created: 2016-12-16 Last updated: 2016-12-16Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(10906 kB)53 downloads
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