Environmental Communication Orbitiing Satellite (ECOSat)

Student driven project to build a satellite
as part of the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge

UVic team meetings every Monday 6pm ECS 104

Example ECOSat sub-projects for ELEC/CENG/SENG 499
as described by ECE student Justin Curran jtcurran@uvic.ca

Electrical & Software

Solar Panels:

The solar panels deployed by the satellite require both a scheme for
connecting the panels, routing the power buses from them as well as
Maximum Power Point Tracker circuit in order to optimize each solar panel
for maximum power or each string of solar panels depending on the choice
of the designer.

Battery charging and management system:

The Lithium battery bank of the satellite requires a charge management
circuit that will be responsible for charging the batteries from the
unregulated solar panel bus voltage. This system will be required to
charge the batteries to specification to optimize lifetime and charge
cycles. Part of this circuit will be balancing the voltage differences of
these cells, it is yet to be determined if any useful work can be done
with the extra energy other than dissipating it resistively as heat.

Power supply system:

The power supply system for the satellite project will consist of a both
switch mode and linear topologies up to the discretion of the designer.
The system needs to accept a range of voltages from the battery system and
then regulate it to several standard voltage levels 3.3v, 5v, 9v, 12v.
There may be more yet to be determined but those four are a save bet at
the minimum 5v and 12v. This system will need to be optimized for
stability and reliability.


Extensive work needs to be done on the communication system, essentially
it is built around a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and the system
will be designed to function as a soft ware defined radio. This means that
most of the hardware of typical radio is now dealt with in software.
However there is still a lot of electronic design work to be done
surrounding the signal reception, filtering, Analog to Digital
Conversion(ADC), and Digital to Analog Conversion(DAC). There is also lots
of software work that could be done with this system currently.

Attitude Determination and Control System:

This system is required ,to determine the position of the satellite in
space, as well make course corrections to keep the satellites desired
orbit and orientation. This system will be required to stabilize all three
axis of the satellite, as well keep the camera of the satellite directed
at the earth at all times.