Preliminary Hardware Design and Development of On-Board Data Handling for Pico-Satellite in National Space Agency


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Malaysia had in the past sent two remote sensing satellites to orbit by collaborating with foreign space companies to build homegrown capacities for space technology development. At the educational institutions, a pico-satellite development program would be an ideal first step to establish such capacity as students could gain the experience and know-how through the complete cycle of designing, building and testing a satellite. As it is now, some of their overseas counterparts have already succeeded in running CubeSat programs due to strong support from kit manufacturers and their national space agencies. However, the cost to purchase such kits could be discouraging and National Space Agency (ANGKASA) recognises the needs to initiate some designs that could be used or referred to for further development or expansion. In this paper, a hardware design of On-Board Data Handling (OBDH) board using PIC Microcontroller is presented. OBDH is a main subsystem which controls all subsystems in the satellite. It provides a series of important services like command, telemetry, data communication, data acquisition, process, storage and management. The PIC Microcontroller made by Microchip Corporation is chosen as it is widely used by the industry and academia in Malaysia. The 16-bit PIC24 microcontroller has been recognized as a suitable part due to its performance, memory, peripherals, cost effective solutions as well as availability. The method used in designing the OBDH in this pico-satellite is first based on a main mission to investigate ionospheric effect on GPS signal transmission. Other considerations taken are that the parts used should be of commercial off the shelf product and having its own development board for ease of testing. The expected result would be the successful arrangement of all required parts in limited pico-satellite’s size and the accomplishment in achieving the satellite’s missions through simulation.



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Edited by:

R. Varatharajoo, E. J. Abdullah, D. L. Majid, F. I. Romli, A. S. Mohd Rafie and K. A. Ahmad




S. A. bin Ibrahim et al., "Preliminary Hardware Design and Development of On-Board Data Handling for Pico-Satellite in National Space Agency", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 225, pp. 492-496, 2012

Online since:

November 2012




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