Nanosatellite Design, Testing, and Fabrication
Matthew Houck, Environmental Design and African-American Studies
Building a ground satellite on UB’s campus to determine feasability, and create a first-of-it’s-kind example for other SUNY schools.
For my project, I joined the University at Buffalo Nanosatellite Laboratory (UBNL) team and we hand built a ground satellite. We built the ground satellite to be able to tell the attitude (position/orientation) of objects in space using signal to noise ratio (SNR). Our project addressed the need for a ground satellite on UB campus that could use SNR. This is a need because soon UBNL hopes to send their own real satellite into space, and it would be useless without the ground satellite working together with it. The perfect example of what our project product was would be our ground satellite. After working an entire year on it, there are still many big and little things necessary before it can be operational. Part of the reason we did the project was to show other SUNY schools that it was possible, so we documented all our steps for them in hopes that if they have a easier time completing the project they would make their own. My personal biggest takeaway would be learning how to work effectively as a large group. There were times when we all had to be very coordinated on the same task and it was hard, but it taught be the importance of teamwork and listening to your leaders. The PEARL process helped me reevaluate my time with UBNL and understand exactly what I was learning and how. Then putting my thoughts into words with the associated assignments solidified my understanding and kept me growing over the semesters. Students should get involved in these types of projects because there is nothing quite like it. I can already tell that I am going to miss my time here after my college career is over, because I am sure I wont be able to work hard and have as much fun as I did with ELN and UBNL.