P16102: RIT-SPEX Structure


Project Summary Project Information

RIT’s new Space Exploration (SPEX) group was created last year with the goal of bringing RIT into the field of CubeSat construction and experimentation. CubeSats are small vehicles used by industry, government, and universities to enable small scale experimentation with space systems. Electrical power for these systems is generally provided by solar panels and are restricted by the surface area of the vehicle. CubeSat deployable solar arrays are available for purchase, however they are too expensive to be of use to RIT SPEX.

The objective of this project is to create a first generation, deployable solar array for use in 1U sized CubeSats for RIT SPEX to support future development. The system must be capable of integrating with a general CubeSat bus while supplying the necessary power to CubeSat subsystems for both the pre-deployed start-up phase and mission phase. It must also be capable of reliably deploying after enduring the launch conditions described in the CubeSat Launch Initiative and P-POD User’s Guides. Lastly the system should be inexpensive to manufacture in comparison to similar systems.

The final deliverable for this project will be a completed deployable solar panel array prototype for a 1U CubeSat. Additionally, a complete CAD package and bill of materials will be provided to the RIT SPEX team in order to allow them to reproduce the design in the future with flight ready components. Documentation of the design process will be recorded in EDGE so the SPEX research group can understand design decisions and make any modifications that they see fit in the future.

Typical CubeSat Deployment

This project is sponsored by Boeing in conjunction with RIT MSD. Thank you for your support and bringing space systems to RIT!

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Project Name
Cost Effective Deployable Solar Arrays for CubeSats
Project Number
Project Family
RIT Space Exploration
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Edward Hanzlik
Primary Customer
RIT Space Exploration Research Group
Dr. Dorin Patru
Dr. Michael Barbosu
Sponsor (financial support)
Boeing, RIT MSD

Team Members

From left to right: Anthony Hennig, Tristan McRae, Paul Curtin, Robert Masti

From left to right: Anthony Hennig, Tristan McRae, Paul Curtin, Robert Masti

Member Role Contact
Tristan McRae Team Member, Deployment tm9045@rit.edu
Robert Masti Team Member, Structure rlm7819@rit.edu
Paul Curtin Team Member, Deployable Structure prc5550@rit.edu
Anthony Hennig Team Leader, Integration aih2400@rit.edu



Project Management

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

State of the Field

Project Team


Problem Definition

Systems Design

Subsystem Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

SDR Agenda 1 September 26th

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation