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Satellite Degin Contest

You can see the detail about the Satellite Design Contest at the web site of the contest. We introduce the activities in our laboratory and Satellite Lab briefly in this web page.

Stellite Design Contest has two categories: design category and idea category. The deesign category is a competition of the design of 50cm cubical piggy-back satellite with 50kg (or smaller). The idea category is a competition of the idea using space, which has no regulation. However, the design is also evaluated in the idea category recently.

Our laboratory applied to the Satellite Design Contest aiming for studying on space engineering and design of spacecraft, anf for the development of real satellite in the future. We have not applied to the contest since the real development started, i.e. we started the development of SEEDS, SEEDS-II, and SPROUT. The mind of the member is inclined to the real development rather than the paper project. Honestly, it is the best to study on the theory through the contest and to develope the real satellite on the basis of the knowledge about the satellite design. But the design of several kg class satellite is different from that of 50kg class satellite, and we need time for the development. So we are now focusing on the development of real satellite.

We think, however, that you should understand the theory and get the skill to calculate everything about the spacecraft if you study on spacecraft engineering. 50kg class nano-satellites have been increased and the space utilization will be expanding more and more. In such a situation, it will be helpful for you to study on the design of 50kg class satellite through the contest before you will graduate from your university. When you design the spacecraft, it is important for you to design the detail of the spacecraft, e.g. components, circuit boards, harness, and on-board software if you will have the job on the design and development of products.

Therefore, the undergraduate students of 3rd degree (juniour students) of Satellite Lab challenge the contest recently. In FY2013, they applied to the design category and won the Astronomical Society of Japan Award (right figure). We think such undergraduate students will increase in Satelllite Lab. But it must be noted that it is not easy for 3rd degree students to design the satellite. We think they should take the class "Spacecraft Design" in our department and understand the basic theory and design method necessary for the satellite design, learn the software, and learn more technical knowledge from the graduate students.


The result of the contest in our laboratory and Satellite Lab is as follows:

No. (year)Satellite (mission)CategoryAwardMember
21th (2013)BALAENA (capture and return of small particle in low earth orbit)DesignAstronomical Society of Japan Award
Best Model Craft Award
Satellite Lab (3rd degree)
17th (2009)SPACE OFURO (having a math in space)IdeaJapan Space Forum Award
Best Model Craft Award
Laboratory (class in graduate school)
14th (2006)PRIMROSE (Space verification of inflatable membrane structure and proposal of new observation orbit)DesignBest Design AwardLaboratory
10th (2002)LIVE-Sat (Live broadcast of earth image data, my camera)DesignEncouragement AwardLaboratory + other 1 student
Space Cooking (Cooking in space)IdeaSociety for Promotion of Space Science AwardLaboratory + 2 other students
9th (2001)Egg-shaped satellite SCUSCU (Space verification of fullerene deployable structure and cultivation in space)DesignJapan Society for Aeronautical and Space Science AwardLaboratory
8th (2000)Storm Insider (Simultenous multi-points observation of the Mars by CanSats)IdeaEncouragement AwardLaboratory
7th (1999)Survival Satellite (Environmental observation in orbit crossing the Van Allen Belt)DesignJuly's Special AwardLaboratory
6th (1998) Flying Object Observation Satellite in Lunar Orbit (Lunar observation to verify the existence of ice at polar region)DesignJapan Society for Aeronautical and Space Science AwardLaboratory

College of Science and Technology, Nihon University
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Miyazaki and Yamazaki Laboratory
College of Science and Technology, Nihon University
7-24-1 Narashinodai, Funabashi, Chiba 274-8501, Japan
e-mail: asel (at) forth.aero.cst.nihon-u.ac.jp