We were faced with the challenge of creating an amateur cube satellite used to orbit "Mars" and discover data to assist future missions relating to the planet.
Step 1: Design
Our first step was to create a unique and functional design for our cubesat. Our design didn't end up nearly as complex as the blueprint above but still is able to serve it's purpose.
Step 2: Determining Our Sensor
We then had to determine what we wanted to measure using our cubesat. Our decision was measuring the distance from the surface of the object we are orbiting. To measure this we decided on the Ultra Sonic Rangefinder sensor which detects nearby objects and gives a reading of their distance from the sensor. (Pictured Above)
Step 3: Writing the Code
To program our sensor to measure distance we had to write code for an arduino circuit board which is used to record and save our data from the sensor on an SD card. We had our expert programmer Jack Carter write this code and make it work so the remaining members of our group could focus on the construction of the cubesat.
Step 4: Building the Cubesat
We ended up deciding to use a pop sickle stick and tape design to house our arduino, sensor and breadboard.
Step 5: Testing the Cubesat
We started with a test to make sure our cubesat fit the dimensions of a real cubesat, then we had a shake test to simulate a launch and the stress it would put on a real cube sat, then finally we tested the cubesat orbiting our "mars" to collect data with our sensor and accomplish our goals. Which was very successful!