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An Overview About the Small Satellites Projects of the ITA Space Center

17 February 2020 at 11:30, Sala Elicottero, Second Floor, Building B12, Campus Bovisa 

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Aerospaziali
Via La Masa 34
20156 Milano 

Seminari Dipartimentali

 

Willer Gomes dos Santos

Abstract

The ITA Space Center (CEI, “Centro Espacial ITA” in Portuguese) is a complete teaching space engineering facility of the Brazilian Aeronautics Institute of Technology (ITA) for the concept, design, development, assembly, integration, tests and operation of small satellites, enabling the students to participate in all phases of the space mission. Currently, many space players have invested in CubeSats which is a type of miniaturized satellite composed of cubic 10 x 10 x 10 cm modules. The miniaturization, modularization and standardization are key changes that differentiate the New Space from the Legacy Space approach. At the end of 2018, ITA Space Center has launched its first academic 6U CubeSat, called ITASAT-1, which had the main objective of training human resources for space applications in universities and research institutes. The students involved in that project had the opportunity to work on system engineering, assembly integration and test (AIT), software development, ground segment and satellite operation. Currently, CEI has been working in a professional and sophisticated CubeSat to meet the Scintillation Prediction Observation Research Task (SPORT) mission. This project is a cooperation among the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), American universities, the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and ITA. SPORT mission aims to understand the nature and evolution of ionospheric structures around sunset, mainly the scintillation phenomenon caused by the plasma bubbles, aiming to improve predictions of such disturbances that heavily affect the propagation of radio and telecommunication signals in the south America region. The SPORT’s payloads are being developed by the American side and will be integrated into a 6U platform, under development by CEI, to be launched from the International Space Station (ISS). For the ITASAT-2 mission, it has been planned to launch multiple nanosatellites in a formation flying configuration to improve the temporal resolution of the scientific data and, thus, becoming a continuity of the SPORT program. In this seminar we are going to present an overview about the ITA Space Center facility and its space missions, technical details of our satellites projects; the academic works done by our students in several areas (such that orbital mechanics, guidance, navigation and control system, space systems engineering, structure and mechanisms, thermal control system, power systems, onboard data handling, among others); and the perspectives of CEI for the future.

Short Bio

Willer Gomes dos Santos is a professor and scientist of the Aerospace Systems department of the Aeronautics Institute of Technology (ITA), located in São José dos Campos, Brazil. At ITA, he is member of the ITA Space Center (CEI) and head of the E2MoC research group. His research areas are: space systems engineering, orbital mechanics, spacecraft guidance, navigation and control, and distributed space systems.

Complementary Bio

He received his PhD’s degree in 2015 in Space Engineering and Technologies, in the concentration area of Space Mechanics and Control, from the Brazilian institute INPE (National Institute for Space Research), with split-site doctoral program at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In his PhD thesis, it was proposed a multiobjective optimization control method to solve the spacecraft actuators command problem. The proposed models were tested and validated in the hardware-in-the-loop rendezvous simulator facility at the German Aerospace Center, called European Proximity Operations Simulator (EPOS), located in Wessling, Germany. In addition, he received his Masters degree in Space Engineering and Technologies also from INPE. His master dissertation describes investigations of a new actuation method applied to aerobraking maneuvers. Previously, in 2008, he received his bachelors degree in Control and Automation Engineering from “Cruzeiro do Sul” university, located in São Paulo, Brazil. Also, he worked from 2015 to 2018 as a fellow of the INPE's simultaneous engineering group, called Center for the Integrated Project of Space Missions (CPRIME).


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