OSSAT Designathon: Structure Design Concept Challenge

Are you willing to think outside the box? Join our Structure Concept Designathon!

We are really looking for novel and innovative ideas to develop an open source structural design concept. Is there something that can be done that hasn’t yet been seen before in the space domain? Can we leverage ideas from other domains?

No space experience? Don’t worry!  We welcome anyone with a problem-solving mindset, not just those with space industry experience. We have a detailed information pack which includes "Structure Design 101" pointers  – and you'll be able to interact with the OSSAT Community too in our dedicated Designathon !

The designs can be generated in any sensible format: sketches, engineering drawings or CAD models are all OK, we're most interested in your conceptual designs at this stage. All contributions will be accepted in accordance with the principles described in our Manifesto.

OSSAT Structure DesignathonDownload the OSSAT Structure Designathon Information Pack here

What is the Structure Concept Designathon all about?

The Open Source Satellite (OSSAT) is intended to be an open-source, 25-250 kg microsatellite platform which is capable of servicing a wide variety of applications. The OSSAT structure poses an interesting design challenge because the satellite needs to be capable of accommodating different types of payload with minimal redesign for different missions. A key objective of the OSSAT programme is to promote and increase access to space and we want to achieve this by developing a satellite platform which has a low price-point compared to other commercially available systems. To drive down costs, the amount of non-recurring engineering that is required for different missions must be reduced as much as possible.

Therefore, the aim of this Designathon is to generate structure concepts that meet the top-level requirements of the OSSAT. We are looking for novel and innovative ideas to solve this problem. The designs can be generated in any sensible format, whether that be sketches, engineering drawings or as CAD models (we can recommend  freely-available CAD software if required).

The primary input to this project is presentation pack which describes the top-level requirements of the OSSAT structure; download the presentation pack below. This includes component lists for the platform and payload. This challenge is not solely for people with experience in the space industry. This slide deck therefore also includes some more general guidance on the main factors to consider when designing a spacecraft structure.

Spacecraft Axes
Download the OSSAT Structure Designathon Information Pack here

What problems need to be solved?

The initial work will involve generating a structure for an Earth observation imaging payload. Once this is complete, the challenge of making this design capable of accommodating payloads from different types of mission can also be undertaken. The following two additional applications have been included due to the interesting additional features they introduce into the satellite architecture:

  • Orbital Manoeuvring Vehicle: A spacecraft which carries a number of smaller satellites and then deploys them into different orbits. In the context of the OSSAT these will be a number of CubeSats stored in dispensers which must be accommodated by the structure. This mission type also introduces the need for a propulsion system.
  • Debris Removal Mission: The aim of this mission type is to rendezvous and capture a piece of space debris, transfer to a lower orbit and then release the debris so that it re-enters the atmosphere. This mission requires a number of payload devices as well as a propulsion system with multiple thrusters to enable agile manoeuvering of the spacecraft.

Example Antenna Positioning
Download the OSSAT Structure Designathon Information Pack here

Interested? Want to find out more?

We are seeking candidate Designathon Participants, Mentors and Judges: how would YOU like to get involved?

Send a note to us at info@opensourcesatellite.org, or leave your details in the comments section below.

We look forward to working with you!

www.opensourcesatellite.org exists to create an environment that supports and enables entrepreneurial and innovative thinking, with the aim of taking the next step in small satellite capabilities.
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