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Batteries on TechEdSat-10 Mission Certified in Intelligent Systems Division's SHARP Lab
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Batteries on TechEdSat-10 Mission Certified in Intelligent Systems Division's SHARP Lab

TechEdSat-10 is a six-unit CubeSat deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) on July 13, 2020. One of the technologies the mission is demonstrating is improved batteries. Greater battery capacity will provide increased energy storage, enabling future small spacecraft science and exploration beyond Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). The TechEdSat-10 batteries were certified in the Intelligent Systems Division’s Systems Health, Analytics, Resilience, and Physics-modeling (SHARP) Lab by researchers from the Diagnostics and Prognostics group. The CubeSat is currently communicating well and sending data back.

Onboard TechEdSat-10 are eight radios, nine processors, a graphics processing unit, four cameras, including a stereoscopic virtual reality camera experiment, and 150 watt-hours of power storage. The key goal of this mission is to demonstrate exo-brake technology, which is an umbrella-like "brake" that increases drag in order to take a small satellite out of orbit. For this demonstration, the exo-brake technology will be controlled from the ground to help target a reentry point. In the future, the exo-brake could be used in sample return from LEO and planetary survey missions.

BACKGROUND: By providing battery certification, the SHARP Lab has been supporting all the Technology Education Satellite nano-satellite (TES-n) series of small satellites. The SHARP lab also supported the Network and Operation DEmonstration Satellite (NODES) mission. The batteries for TechEdSat-10 were certified for flight by Chetan Kulkarni (Intelligent Systems Division Prognostics Center of Excellence) in collaboration with the TES team. Test procedures were devised to meet stringent safety requirements for batteries passing through the ISS, and testing was conducted in the SHARP Lab for certification that the batteries met all requirements for flight. For their next goal, the team is working to implement an onboard battery prognostics framework for battery health monitoring developed by the Diagnostics and Prognostics group.

CubeSats provide a low-cost platform for scientific research investigations, technology development and demonstrations, and educational opportunities. NASA's small satellite initiatives develop missions to study the Earth and the Moon, as well as to test new technologies, like the exo-brake, and advanced instruments, like autonomy technologies and high-bandwidth laser communications. NASA also funds small satellite rideshare opportunities, including those for student projects, giving students hands-on experience in satellite technology development and operations.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Small Spacecraft Technology Program (SSTP), Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD)

TEAM: Chetan S. Kulkarni (Code TI), Cedric Priscal (TI), Johnny Barajas (Millennium Engineering), Ali Guarneros Luna (Code PX), Hunter Kanniainen (Code RD), Marcus Murbach (PI, RD), Reine Ntone Johansen (RD), Alejandro Salas (RD), and Brigit Salgado (Code QS)

POINT OF CONTACT: Chetan Kulkarni, chetan.s.kulkarni@nasa.gov

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