Development of a CubeSat Control Algorithm Testbed

NASA Goddard challenged students from electrical and mechanical & aerospace engineering to develop an Arduino-based control algorithm testbed for a CubeSat. Students worked to develop a desktop educational technology capable of sensing a light-source and tracking that source as it moves. Designing such a testbed would allow other students to develop and test various control algorithms as a way to learn about the engineering and math behind a variety of systems that must be precisely controlled in support of numerous applications.

The students successfully designed and built an alpha-prototype system and presented the results to NASA. However, they did not stop there. Instead, the students spent the next 18 months furthering development of the system and creating a Version 2.0, with support from UB’s CURCA (Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities). They are continuing their effort, working to finalize the design as part of an interdisciplinary senior design project.