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A Comparative Tradeoff of Electric Power System Architecture Reliabilities in CubeSat Satellites

Kudrick, Christopher A (2022) A Comparative Tradeoff of Electric Power System Architecture Reliabilities in CubeSat Satellites. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Small nanosatellites, such as CubeSats, represent an important population of satellites that are currently commissioned in various types of scientific research missions in space travel. CubeSats are small cubic satellites that can vary in size and are most commonly deployed in the “1U” size, measuring one cubic meter. CubeSats are important in scientific research as they follow a standardized design specification, known as the CDS, which aims to normalize the cost of development and deployment, as well as act as a baseline design specification for a community of researchers, students, and inventors.

The advent of CubeSat development has enabled thousands of researchers to conduct space missions, which had otherwise been too expensive and resource intensive. For CubeSats, the Electric Power System (EPS) has been documented as being the most unreliable sub-system in the CubeSat architecture. Further, it is the most critical sub-system, as a CubeSat cannot function without the EPS performing its intended functionality.

While the CDS provides guidelines for CubeSat development, there is flexibility. The intent of this thesis is to analyze the reliability impact of proposed alternative EPS architectures compared to the current implementation. Alternative architectures consist of the same components as the baseline, but are arranged in varying configurations and quantities. A comparative study is performed between ten alternative EPS architectures against a baseline by determining the failure rate and Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) for each configuration. Reliability calculations are supported by determining each architecture minimal cut set and developing a corresponding Reliability Block Diagram. After, an analysis of the pros and cons between the alternative variants and the baseline is discussed. The proposed alternative architectures investigate the reliability impact of implementing distributed architectures, where redundant components and common connection busses are integrated to introduce varying levels of redundancy and operational flexibility.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kudrick, Christopher Achk126@pitt.educhk1260000-0003-3001-3323
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorGrainger, Brandon Mbmg10@pitt.edubmg10
Committee ChairGrainger, Brandon Mbmg10@pitt.edubmg10
Committee MemberKerestes, Robert Jrjk39@pitt.edurjk39
Committee MemberKwasinski, Alexisakwasins@pitt.eduakwasins
Date: 16 January 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 October 2021
Approval Date: 16 January 2022
Submission Date: 22 October 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 101
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Electrical and Computer Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: CubeSat Reliability Electric Power System Reliability Block Diagram Minimal Cut Set
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2022 17:01
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2022 17:01

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  • A Comparative Tradeoff of Electric Power System Architecture Reliabilities in CubeSat Satellites. (deposited 16 Jan 2022 17:01) [Currently Displayed]


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