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A reconfigurable multifunctional architecture approach for next-generation nanosatellite design

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2 Author(s)
B. Jackson ; Bell Aerosp. & Technol. Corp., Boulder, CO, USA ; K. Epstein

This paper proposes a new nanosatellite design paradigm called Reconfigurable Multifunctional Architecture (RMA). The RMA concept enables dramatic cost savings and economies of scale, and is compatible with numerous nanosatellite missions. In the RMA concept, functional modules are used to implement higher-level mission-specific functions (e.g., propulsion). Subsystem functions are distributed across multiple Multifunctional Structural Units (MSUs). Each MSU is a structural “building block” that contains embedded electronics, wiring, thermal control, and selected discrete components. Traditional subsystem boundaries (and their associated penalties) no longer exist. Design customization is permitted at three levels: adding functional modules as required, swapping/adding MSUs, and replacing selected components on a MSU. The RMA concept offers dramatic weight savings by eliminating black boxes, bulky wire harnesses, and connectors; increases overall system reliability; enables rapid design reconfiguration; streamlines the integration and test process; and facilitates inexpensive mass production

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Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 2000 IEEE  (Volume:7 )

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