Mohamed Ali Alsadig Mohamed



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CubeSats are standard and modularized satellites that have gained widespread implementation among the scientific research community due to their low cost of manufacture and launch. The only source of energy for CubeSat missions are from solar arrays, which are coupled to rechargeable batteries that provide power during the shaded portion of the orbit. The goal of this research is to maximize the energy per weight ratio of solar array designs for a 3U CubeSat. The solar array configurations investigated include rigidly mounted to the CubeSat sides, and deployed with zero, one, and two degree of freedom, active positioning actuation schemes. Numerical models are created for multiple variations of geo-synchronous and sun-synchronous orbits, which are common for CubeSat missions. The results for orbit parameters and energy acquisition for rigid-mounted solar arrays are validated with commercially available orbital mechanics software (SDK). The various solar cell designs are evaluated based on their energy acquisition potential and actuation complexity and weight of design.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Dave Harry Myszka

Primary Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Stander Symposium project, School of Engineering

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Affordable and Clean Energy

Optimization of Solar Array Positioning Actuators for Small Satellites