Program Description
Texas Space Grant Consortium

Interdisciplinary Spacecraft Design Project



Statement of Work

Teams of students and faculty from the Texas Space Grant Consortium academic institutions will develop a preliminary design for a small lunar lander to demonstrate production of oxygen on the surface of the Moon using in situ resources. Subsystem specifications will be provided to the teams and interfaces between subsystems will be defined in information available over the Worldwide Web. The team from each academic institution will choose one or more spacecraft subsystems and will develop a design for that subsystem. Any desired specification and/or interface changes must be negotiated among the teams. Teams will be responsible for posting short weekly progress reports and must keep information on the current status of their subsystem design up to date so that other teams can reference it.

Project Overview

The Texas Space Grant Consortium is sponsoring a space related student design project during the 1995-1996 school year, in which students from various TSGC institutions may participate. The goal of this project is to provide students from each participating TSGC institution with a meanigful and exciting design experience. The final design proposal will be submitted to NASA under a small spacecraft program (such as the Discovery program) with the intent of partnering with Texas industries to build and fly the proposed mission. During the academic year, TSGC will each participating institution with $2500 to assist in the design process. Additional funding will be provided as required to fund the travel of a design team representative to a final design presentation in May (site to be determined). The co-Principal Investigators (PIs) for the project are Professor Wallace T. Fowler at the University of Texas at Austin and Professor Aaron Cohen at Texas A&M University.

Mission Overview

One of the most important resources necessary for human a presence on the Moon is oxygen. The Moon contains abundant amounts of oxygen in its soil, and extraction of oxygen from lunar soil has been demonstrated in Earth-based facilities using samples returned to Earth by the Apollo missions. However, the production of oxygen on the Moon using lunar raw materials has not been demonstrated. Demonstration of oxygen production on the Moon would be a major stepping stone toward the establishment of a permanent lunar base.

This primary objective of this unmanned mission will be the placement of a small oxygen production plant on the lunar surface and the subsequent production of oxygen on the surface of the Moon using lunar soil as the raw materials for the oxygen plant.

The specifications for this mission have been developed by a team of graduate students from the University of Texas at Austin. Their assigned tasks were (1) to explore mission design possibilities, (2) to develop preliminary system and subsystem requirements for the spacecraft, and (3) to identify technical hurdles in obtaining lunar resources.

The preliminary mission plan calls for the mission to unfold according to the following sequence of events.

Preliminary Mission Scenario

  1. Spacecraft is launched using a small inexpensive booster.
  2. Spacecraft is placed on a trajectory to the Moon.
  3. Spacecrafts orbits the Moon (optional)
  4. Spacecraft lands on at lunar dawn at a (TBD) location on the lunar nearside.
  5. Lunar soil is collected as raw materials for oxygen production.
  6. Oxygen plant produces and stores oxygen.
  7. Oxygen production process is confirmed to Earth station.
  8. Secondary experiments are performed (mass permitting).
  9. Attempt to survive the lunar night (and repeat E-H)

The following mission goals will remain fixed throughout the project and are not subject to change.

  1. Land the oxygen plant on the Moon,
  2. Produce oxygen from lunar soil,
  3. Report the success or failure of oxygen production to Earth.

The key to making the project a success is rooted in the subsystem design, interface control, and system integration. The responsibilities and operation of these groups are outlined below.

Design Responsibilities

Each design team will select and design a subsystem of the spacecraft. The design shall be based on the specifications as published or as amended through negotiation among the various teams. Specification sheets are available on the project's www page,

http://www.utexas.edu/tsgc/design.html

The subsystem design teams have two important constraints:

  1. Meet or exceed subsystem and mission requirements.
  2. Meet all interface requirements with other subsystems.
Team Guidelines and Suggestions for Success

The following are guidelines that each group should follow during the design process:

  1. The instructors at all of the participating universities are a resource. Use e-mail to contact them and use CU-See Me as it becomes available to you. Your own instructor is the most important resource that you have, -- for technical advice, for information on how to approach other teams, etc.

  2. Graduate students in the spacecraft design course at UT Austin are also available to you as information sources and consultants. These graduate students wrote the subsystems specifications available to you on the www and are monitoring the coordination and integration of the design.

  3. Communications with other teams (EARLY and OFTEN) is ESSENTIAL. You will save much time and wasted effort if you communicate often with other teams, with faculty, and with the graduate student group. Your communications can highlight perceived problems, technical or informational needs, interface changes, requests to modify requirements, etc. If you see something that "might" be a problem, bring it to the attention of everyone so that all can help to decide whether there really is a problem.

  4. Evaluate several apparently viable design concepts before deciding on how to accomplish the goals of your subsystem. Establish criteria to help you choose among the alternative concepts, and choose the one that best meets all of the design requirements and constraints.

  5. Strive to design a feasible, realistic subsystem. Your final design should be reliable, lightweight, consume a minimum of power, meet all performance and interface requirements, and be low cost. (Obviously, we cannot always do all of this -- but we can try).

  6. When in doubt, estimate. Since your design will be constantly evolving, a specific piece of information may not be known when you need it. If that is the case, estimate the value and be sure that others know that your value is an estimate. Often, someone else will give you a correct value as soon as they see your estimate. In any case, your estimate will be a starting place for the iterative design process.

  7. Specification changes by an individual subsystem teams are not allowed. All suggested specifications changes (and interface changes) will be negotiated among the affected subsystems teams and the systems integration group. If changes are approved, only the systems integration group (who control that section of the web pages) can effect specification changes. Ensure that any specification changes that you propose are well thought out and are reasonable

  8. New technology can be used where the payoff is large relative to the risk undertaken. Proven technologies are preferred in areas affecting the primary mission goals. New technologies will be most acceptable in the secondary science areas and with backup systems.

  9. System and subsystem operations must be considered. Estimate the manpower necessary to support the operation of your subsystem for the first lunar day (and night) after landing.

  10. Be conscious of monetary constraints (not that a full analysis is required). The final spacecraft project goal less than 75 million US dollars. If we keep our costs low, we increase the likelihood that our project will actually fly.

  11. Do a complete, professional job on all work. Do not leave details dangling. Your work will be seen outside of your university -- it represents you, your university, your state, and Texas Space Grant.

Requirements on Participants

The following information outlines the responsibilities of the subsystem design teams. Since this project will be a learning experience for all parties involved, and since all of us will need information from other teams to do a good job, significant attention to communication between universities and teams is of the utmost importance. Design progress will be monitored through weekly reports, tele and video conferences, conferences, and design reports.

  1. Teleconferences will take place to communicate ideas, questions, and design information between the subsystem teams and the system integration team. Additional conferences can be set up on an as needed basis.

  2. Weekly progress reports shall be submitted on the World Wide Web at the end of each week, using the design page progress report form. These forms will communicate the work that has been accomplished during the current week, and work that will be accomplished in the next week. The progress reports are of extreme importance, and will be used to communicate that the project is progressing smoothly.

  3. The Conceptual Design Review (CDR) Report is a mid-fall-semester report to provide a overview of the Conceptual Design of the subsystem, which will be examined in full detail through the remainder of the semester. The conceptual design report should include a minimum of 5 to 10 pages of single spaced text, not including tables, diagrams, cover pages, etc. A copy of this document will be sent to the system integration group in electronic form via the provided ftp account.

  4. Design Report I is a fall end-of-semester report which provides all necessary information to detailed preliminary design of the subsystem. This design report will be written in a detailed format (to be provided), and will be used in the second phase of this project. This report will include a minimum of 50 pages and include trade studies, detailed designs, diagrams, tables, integration tables, final mass estimates, volume, power, operational constraints, program outlines, where to go from here, etc. The report should show that design specifications and interfaces have been met. You will provide hard copies of this document for all teams (12 copies). One electronic copy of this shall be sent to the system integration group at the end of the fall semester.

  5. Design Review I (DR I) Design Review I will be held via audio/video conferencing at the end of the fall semester. Each subsystem design will be presented by the responsible subsystem design team. The presentation should be based on the Preliminary Design Report. The presentation should be approximately 20 minutes in length. Hard copies of the presentation must be provided to all design teams prior to the audio/video conference

  6. Design Report II is a spring mid-semester report (Date TBD) which will provide a overview to the second major design iteration of the subsystem begun in the fall semester, which will be examined in full detail through the remainder of the spring semester. This design report should include a minimum of 40 pages of single spaced text, not including tables, diagrams, cover pages, etc. A copy of this document will be sent to the system integration group in electronic form via the provided ftp account.

  7. Design Review II (DR II) Design Review II will be held via audio/video conferencing near the middle of the spring semester. Each subsystem design will be presented by the responsible subsystem design team. The presentation should be based on the Design Report II. The presentation should be approximately 20 minutes in length. Hard copies of the presentation must be provided to all design teams prior to the audio/video conference

  8. The Detailed Subsystem Design Report is a end-semester, end-project report which provides all necessary information to detailed preliminary design of the subsystem. This design report will be written in a detailed format (to be provided), and will be used in the second phase of this project. This report will include a minimum of 85 pages and include trade studies, detailed designs, diagrams, tables, integration tables, final mass estimates, volume, power, operational constraints, program outlines, where to go from here, etc. The report should indicate how design specifications and interfaces have been met. You will provide hard copies of this document for all teams (12) at the Design Conference. One electronic copy of this shall be delivered to the system integration group at the Design Conference. This report will be correlated with the other subsystem reports to form the proposal which will be sent to NASA.

  9. Detailed Design Conference Presentations will be held (site TBD) at the end of the spring semester. Each final subsystem design will be presented at this conference by at least one member of the responsible subsystem design team. The presentation should be based on the Detailed Subsystem Design Report . The presentation should be approximately 20 minutes in length.

Responsibilities may be added or modified throughout the course of this project if they are deemed necessary and reasonable by the instructor group and/or the project's PIs to ensure timely completion of this project .

Chain of Responsibility

Each student team is ultimately responsible to its instructor. In addition, all teams are responsible to the other teams. To help teams to coordinate, each student team should appoint a Subsystems Manager who will work with the local instructor and the graduate students in the systems integration group. The Subsystems Manager will be responsible for scheduling and coordinating the daily activities of his/her team. They are responsible for ensuring that the team communicates with the other teams and produces a design that meets mission and interface requirements.

Each instructor will serve as teacher and technical advisor for his/her students and as liaison with the other instructors. The graduate students in the systems integration group will serve in conjunction with the local instructors as technical advisors and will also coordinate with the Subsystem Managers on all of the student teams. Local team control is the responsibility of the local instructor and the local Subsystem Manager. Project control is the responsibility of the PIs and the instructor group. Design coordination and integration responsibility will reside with the graduate students in the systems integration group. Any conflicts will be decided by the PIs and the instructor group.

Funding

A maximum of $2500 will be provided for each design team to assist in academic design support. In additon, the project will provide funds for one team representative to attend a one day design conference (site TBD) in May 1996 in order to present the teamÕs subsystem design. The funds will be divided into three major sections: General Funds, Final Report Awards, and Travel Funds.

General Funds ($ 1000 in the fall and $ 1000 in the spring) will be provided to each institution. These funds will be coordinated by the local instructor and must be expended to support the design effort and to facilitate the student design effort. These funds will be awarded to each institution on a subcontract basis.

Final Report ($ 500 paid in May 1996) will be awarded based on the timely receipt of an acceptable final report by the project office. Examples of acceptable final reports will be provided on the www. Final reports will be evaluated by the instructor group, by personnel from NASA JSC, and by other interested professionals.

Travel Funds are reserved for travel to and from the May Design Conference. Funds will be divided evenly between the two conferences. Air travel will be direct charged through UT Travel Agency and funds for ground travel will be awarded on a reimbursable basis. Reimbursement forms will be available at the conferences. Travel funds will not exceed a total of $400 per institution

Program Schedule

This year long program will be divided into two equal parts, the fall and spring semesters. At both mid and end semester, a Design Report will be required. This will help ease the integration process and help ensure that adequate progress is being made. At the end of each semester a Design Conference will be held in Austin. Each Subsystem Design Team is required to send at least one representative to these Conferences. Below is an outline of the Program Schedule. Changes to this schedule may be made at any time at the discretion of the Systems Integration Team.

8/95Project Begins

9/1/95 - 9/15/95System integration group members visit Participating Universities

10/13/95
(approx)
Friday Conceptual Design Review (CDR)
CDR Report Due

12/1/95
(approx)
FridayVideo Design Conference
Preliminary Design Review I (PDR I)
PDR I Report Due
3/15/96
(approx)
Friday Preliminary Design Review II (PDR II)
PDR II Report Due

5/3/95
(approx)
Friday Design Conference - (Site TBD)
Detailed Design Review (DDR)
DDR Report Due
Project Completed

Letter of Intent to Participate

If you desire to participate in this project please e-mail or fax a Letter of Intent to Participate to Dr. Wallace T. Fowler, Texas Space Grant Consortium, fowler@utcsr.ae.utexas.edu, (512) 471-3585 (F). Letters of intent to Participate are due by 5 pm on Friday September 1, 1995. The Letter of Intent to Participate should include but not be limited to the following items.
  1. Name of institution
  2. Name of faculty coordinator for the design effort
  3. Area of specialty of the faculty coordinator
  4. e-mail address for the faculty coordinator
  5. Estimate of number of students that will be participating
  6. First, second, and third preference of subsystem to be designed

Contacts

The systems integration group will be headed up by.

Mark Fischer
Texas Space Grant Consortium
2901 N IH 35 Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78722
(800) 248-8742
fischer@mail.utexas.edu


The Projects Co-Principal Investigators are.

Wallace Fowler
ASE-EM Department
W.R. Woolrich Laboratories 411C
U. of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1085
(800) 248-8742
fowler@utcsr.ae.utexas.edu

Aaron Cohen
ME Department
Engineering Physics Bldg. 303
Texas A & M University
College Station, TX 77843-3123
(409) 845-1253
ACohen@mengr.tamu.edu


Buttons

Wednesday, 31-Dec-1969 18:00:00 CST
CSR/TSGC Team Web