K2 Tuesdays is a semi-regular series on the development of KySat-2, the latest spacecraft from Kentucky Space. Prior installments are here, here, here and here.

Kentucky Space and the students at the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University have kept up the pace on the KySat-2 project. Over the last two weeks we have gotten prototype Printed Circuit Boards for the Command and Data Handling board (the flight computer), the EPS (or power system), solar panels, phasing and the radio battery holding boards. This has allowed us to rigorously test the subsystems as well as do fit checks.

Last Friday, January 18, Kentucky Space along with both schools conducted a Critical Design Review ("CDR" in engineering speak) for the spacecraft. Over two and a half hours, we covered every subsystem of the spacecraft, as well as other sections of the program including early post-ejection operations, our start up sequence for turning on each subsystems, and so on. The photo to the left was taken at the University of Kentucky, the site of the review, and includes the students. Students and faculty at Morehead State University called in for this meeting. The review went very well with no major issues cropping up.

What this means is that the design of KySat-2 has met the requirements of the targeted orbit and our mission.

In the last K2 Tuesday post I mentioned that we were beginning to prototype the structure for the spacecraft on our new Makerbot 3D printer. As you can see from the photos below, we have been hard at work printing and test fitting every component (especially the structure). The side-by-side compares the design of KySat-2 in CAD software to a printed Engineering Model of the spacecraft. For an engineer, this a beautiful sight. The satellite is beginning to take form. The model shows that our design is sound and that we can fit all the processing and power generation, distribution, and regulation, as well as communications and payload, in this little box. In the next several weeks, we'll be filling out our engineering and flight models, a process known as integration.

Since every mission needs a mission patch, in the next "K2 Tuesday" post I’ll show you the patch we have in mind.

Twyman Clements, Space Systems Engineer, Kentucky Space