Zac Manchester Engineer, Rocket Scientist, Bass Player

KickSat-2 Deployment Test

Here’s a test of the new deployment mechanism on KickSat-2, which was developed to meet more stringent safety requirements. On KickSat-1, the mechanism was triggered by a single burn wire. On KickSat-2, we have two “inhibits” triggered by two independent burn wire circuits. The primary inhibit is a nylon screw that is threaded through the entire assembly. The secondary inhibit is a monofilament tie-down that is secured to the main spacecraft structure. Both the primary and secondary inhibits must be cut in order to trigger deployment. During the mission, the secondary tie-down would be cut first, followed by the primary. The following video shows the opposite - the nylon screw is cut first, followed by the tie-down - to demonstrate that everything works as it should.

Ph.D. Dissertation

My Ph.D. dissertation just came in from the printer. It documents a lot of my work on KickSat over the past four or five years, along with some stuff on variational integrators, feedback control for flat spin recovery, and spacecraft inertia estimation. You can read the PDF here if you’re interested.

Thanks to everyone at Cornell and NASA Ames who helped me along the way!