NEWSAT – Advanced additive manufacturing-enabled, compact, integrated sensor and satellite for observation of Earth's upper atmosphere
This project will develop an advanced, additive manufacturing-enabled, highly integrated, low-cost nanosatellite with payload to quantitatively characterize Earth’s upper atmosphere, providing real-time data for weather studies, e.g., to investigate how global warming affects the thermosphere. To fulfill this goal, researchers will harness cutting-edge ideas in 3D printing (3DP), sensors, electric propulsion, and communications to integrate a nanosatellite demonstrator. The project will also create new understanding of the ways human designers and computational tools can collaborate using a hybrid design approach to create complex engineering systems.
Specifically, at MIT the team will (i) develop novel 3DP electric rockets that, using the same propellant, can provide a very wide range of Isp and thrust; (ii) develop compact ion and neutral mass spectrometers based on 3DP quadrupole mass filter and carbon nanotube electron impact ionizer (iii) implement additively manufactured Langmuir probes and retarding potential analyzers (RPAs) compatible with sensing the thermosphere, (iv) develop, characterize, and manufacture (3DP) novel multi-material composites with a zero thermal expansion coefficient; optimize the topology of components made with these multi-material composites according to different performance tradeoffs, develop methods to incorporate additional sensors into these composite structures, and (v) model/evaluate collaboration between human designers and hybrid computational methods to transform early stage design process and significantly enhance performance outcomes for complex engineered systems.
Scientific Area: Earth Systems: Oceans to Near Space
Leading Institution: Stratosphere
- INESC TEC
- ESURFACE PORTUGAL, LDA
- CLARKE, MODET & Co.
- Luis Fernando Velásquez-García (MTL, PI)
- Prof. Wojciech Matusik (EECS, co-PI)
- Prof. Maria Yang (MechE, co-PI)