Q. Are there any restrictions on materials?
A. Apart from the requirements listed in the rules document, there are no specific requirements relating to material selection. The use of acrylics and 3D printed structures is allowed. Since the satellite will be tested terrestrially in the mystery room, the teams do not have to take into account processes such as outgassing or the way materials will behave in microgravity, but discussing these effects in your CDR, along with how the design will need to be adapted for an actual mission, will strengthen your report.
Q. Is it possible to have an approximation of the dimensions of the mystery room?
A. The size of the room is yet to be specified, but any objects of interest or sources of information will be a minimum of 1 m and a maximum of 5 m from the satellite.
Q. Is it possible that one source might emit more than one type of signal or that signals will overlap?
A. Each source will only emit one signal (light/heat/electromagnetic/visual) and sources of information will not overlap.
Q. How will the satellite communicate with the ground station?
A. The satellite will not communicate with the ground station with a traditional communication subsystem (antennas and radio frequencies). A WiFi connection will be used to communicate with the ground station, but all teams have to allow for an Ethernet connection on the competition day as a backup communication method.
Q. Does the power subsystem have to be built by the team?
A. Yes, the power subsystem has to be built by the team, but we recommend that off-the-shelf components be used. Websites such as SparkFun Electronics are a great place to start and they’re not expensive.
Q. Satellite systems are complicated and expensive; how complicated will the satellite for this competition have to be?
A. We’re not expecting teams to buy flight ready hardware! At the end of the day, the goal of the project is to design a satellite which will work in the mystery room. This can be done with cheap, off-the-shelf components from hobby enthusiast stores.
Q. What is the lifetime of the satellite?
A. The committee is currently reviewing the lifetime of the satellite, but for the moment, assume the satellite lifetime from launch to end of mission (excluding disposal phase) is 2 years.
Q. How many teams are currently in the competition?
A. There are currently 10 teams competing in this competition.
Q. How much detail would you like in the mission design?
A. For the PDR, we're mostly focused on the design for the CubeSat that you'll be testing in the Mystery room. Any extra information you want to include about designing a real lunar mission is appreciated, but not necessary. A mission design section will be included as part of the CDR.
Q. Could the CubeSat turn around an axis normal to the rotation axis to elevate or are we constrained to one-axis rotation?
A. The CubeSat itself is constrained to one-axis rotation, but any deployable devices are free to rotate in more than one axis.
Q. With the regards to the data collection in the mystery room are we able to process the data after the 30 minute period ?
A. The teams will be able to download the data from their satellites during the 30 minutes test period. Data processing can be done after this. We will let you know more about this soon.
Q. Do we need to measure the light intensity or only the wavelength?
A. Both wavelength and intensity of the light source need to be measured. Since the distance of the source can be known from another sensor, the intensity of the source can be calculated.
Q. Requirement SDC-21-SFT-003 says to “isolate battery power from the rest of the satellite payload system” with a kill switch. What does “satellite payload system” mean exactly? Do we have to isolate the payload subsystem (i.e. the sensors) or the entire satellite?
A. There must be a kill switch between the battery and the rest of the satellite.
Q. Must the kill switch be physical or can this be a code based switch?
A. A physical kill switch is a requirement, but designing a code based switch is left to the teams.
Q. With regards to the light and EMF sources, what counts as identifying? What should be characterized about the sources of information?
A. The wavelength and intensity of light sources and the frequencies of EMF sources are to be identified. Any additional information that is identified will receive more points.
Q. Is there any kind of processing of the collected data that would need to be performed or is 'raw data' (e.g. in a .txt file) sufficient ?
A. You can choose what to do with your data. Providing the output or final data in a .txt file to the organisers would be sufficient.
Q. Having recently received our mentor feedback we were wondering whether this is going to be our only source of feedback for the PDR? Or will UKSEDS provide some kind of feedback as well?
A. UKSEDS will not be providing feedback for the PDR.
Q. Are we going to have more information about the string from which the cubesat is hanged on and the hook or whatever will hold the cubesat?
A. Yes, this will be provided shortly. We will provide the hook for the satellite. A simple structure on the frame where a hook can be attached is sufficient. More details on this will follow.
Q. In the Rules, 2.2 Mission Tasks, it is stated that a high level lunar mission is to be designed with the orbit to achieve a maximum revisit times of landmarks. Is there a time limit for the mission, to maximize revisit time?
A. The mission has a minimum operational duration of 3 months and a maximum duration of 2 years. The teams can decide how they want to design the mission with this constraint in place.
Q. In the UKSEDS rules and requirements, it talks about the High-level lunar nanosatellite mission and using OpenApp software, should we focus on the mystery room and designing our CubeSat for now and then return to thinking about the mission design later?
A. The mystery room design and the high level mission design are two separate sets of work which should be talked about in the PDR report. The mystery room design is developing upon the design you did in the PDR whereas the high level mission design is how you would approach this mission realistically. As a team you can choose how you split the work between the two, if you have enough members it may be good to work on both simultaneously. You do not need to use the OpenApp software in this design stage, other software is available as well such as STK or GMAT for orbit design.
Q. Does the satellite have to be 3U or can we make it 2U?
A. The satellite would need to be 3U.
Q. Can we include a hook adaptation on top of our satellite, this would mean we go past the 30cm limit, or do we need to include it within the size limitations?
A. The attachment for the hook can be placed over the satellite, above the 30cm limit. More details on its specifications will be provided soon.
Q. Should we be focusing on a real mission for the CDR (which bears little semblance to the design we provided in the PDR), with real materials, taking into account radiation and other things that are reflective of a space environment ? Or should we be deepening the design we proposed in the PDR and 'pretend' ,for example, that the 3D printed structure would survive the space environment etc.
A. The satellite you need to be designing is for the simulated lunar environment. This would be the satellite you'll be building after CDR to be tested on the competition day. Therefore, you should be expanding on the design outlined in your PDR. You can choose materials and components that meet your requirements for the simulated environment in the mystery room. In the CDR, you will have a section to explain how you would design your satellite differently for an actual lunar mission. You can then elaborate on the systems you would choose for an actual lunar mission design.
Please check out this year’s competition day video on the UKSEDS YouTube channel to see how past competitors tackled the competition!