Many students find themselves joining the Sun Devil Satellite Laboratory (SDSL) and feeling as if they cannot contribute to any of our projects. The “Intro Project” is designed to give members the skills they need to contribute and feel a part of the SDSL project they want to work on. This project is a mix of classes/workshops for members to learn different skills and sessions for engineering the project itself. The project is a “mock satellite” that is the size of a 3U CubeSat (the same size as the Phoenix CubeSat, 10cm x 10cm x 30cm). This satellite maneuvers a camera, takes images, and sends the image data over radio. The “satellite” is then put into a test dome and is tasked with taking images of different lights on the walls of the dome, utilizing many techniques used by actual satellites. Members of the project split up into small groups of students to work on their project.
The schedule for the intro project starts with general satellite classes that will be available club-wide, where multiple speakers will come and talk about how satellites are built, what they do, and what job opportunities are available in the aerospace industry. Meetings are then held weekly where there are either workshops for teaching technical skills, general career/engineering classes, or just general meetings for all the teams to have time to work on their satellites. New guest speakers attend each of these classes/workshops to offer the members a wider network and different perspectives on engineering. The students first design their satellite using mechanical CAD and electrical CAD. As they complete the design for different parts of the project, they then present their subsystems in a design review, similar to other SDSL engineering projects. The satellites are built in 1 or 2 semesters, and once they are complete, they are tested on their structural strength and their ability to accomplish the mission objective.
The intro project team meets every Sunday from 12pm to 2pm at the Interplanetary Initiative Lab