Faculty Advisor

Gatsonis, Nikolaos A.


This project presents the mechanical design and orbital, thermal and magnetic interference analysis for two Cube Satellites (CubeSats) that feature onboard propulsion. The four-unit (4U) CubeSat is designed for flight at altitudes below 250 km. The 16U CubeSat is designed to raise its orbit to altitudes above 500 km. SolidWorks is used for the mechanical design of the CubeSats including all subsystems. Orbital decay analysis with Systems Tool Kit shows that both CubeSats have compliant lifetimes. Thermal analysis with COMSOL using de-featured design models of the CubeSats and unsteady heat loads expected during the orbits, shows that component temperatures are close to tolerances. COMSOL is used for a preliminary assessment of potential magnetic interference by candidate magnetic torquers.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2018


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering