Mohamed Ali Alsadig Mohamed


Presentation: 1:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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CubeSats are standard modular satellites mostly used for scientific research. Each unit (U) is 10 × 10 ×10 cm with a mass of up to 1.33 kg. Due to their reduced launch costs, standardized components, and shorter manufacturing lead time, CubeSats have become an attractive innovation in the space sector. However, the weight and size limitations of CubeSats reduce the available power budget and stored energy reserves, which limit their advanced capabilities and performance. This research studies the energy output from a 3U CubeSat in both Geosynchronous and Sun-synchronous orbits with several solar panel design configurations. The alternatives include rigidly mounted solar panels, deployable panels to optimum positioning angles, along with one and two degrees of freedom actuated panels. Commercially available orbital mechanics software, System Tool Kit, is used to validate the results for orbit parameters and energy generation for the rigid-mounted solar arrays. In addition, this research creates virtual models using SolidWorks software to simulate all the design alternatives to determine the weight penalty for advanced positioning devices and ensure the packaged size remains suitable for standard 3U CubeSat.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Andrew P. Murray, 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

Evaluating Solar Array Positioning Designs for Small Satellites