Projects:2014S1-54 Engineering of a CubeSat Power System

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Project Aim

The aims of this project is building an electronic power system for a CubeSat, a kind of micro satellite. The system can obtain power from solar panels and output steady for other subsystems, meanwhile the system can store energy to a battery.

The circuit of this project is basically designed and emulated by Altium with a printed circuit board as the final deliverable final.

Also, using I2c bus protocol to connect with micro-controller, switches and converter are expected. Then to achieve both 5V 2A output and 3.3V 2A output by selecting with switches.


A CubeSat as a type of micro satellite is about only one litre and the specifications were developed by California Polytechnic State University and Stanford University in 1993. A CubeSat plays a significant role in universities worldwide to explore space now. Researchers use this kind of micro-satellite to perform space science because of its convenience, low cost and customisation.

As an electronic device, a CubeSat requires stable and sufficient energy to work. Energy for a CubeSat is usually from sunlight or battery when the CubeSat is in shadow. Solar panels help to transform solar energy to electricity for the device and EPS is used to steady electricity, charge battery and convert to other components. Therefore, EPS, as a component of a CubeSat, is essential to support the whole system and ensure the CubeSat work correctly.

Project Descripton


Solar panels, which are able to convert sunlight into electricity, are the main power source for CubeSat. Unlike traditional source, the output of solar panels is unstable and varies sharply.


Battery is the device to store energy for CubeSat to work if there is no sunlight on the solar panels as a secondary power source. To manage a battery must consider the method of charging and discharging.


Clyde Space is a supplier of EPS, which focuses on power subsystems for a CubeSat, such as DC-DC converters, lithium polymer batteries and solar panels, typically for CubeSat 2U EPS is an EPS board from Clyde Space.

Clyde space 2u eps.png


Altium Designer is the main tool for the ciruit of this project, including designing and emulating schematic capture and PCB design.EDA tools always split functionality into discrete modules and programs. Altium Designer as a popular advanced EDA tool unifies all of them and offers a design solution in an integrated platform, which focuses on uniting and integrating all areas of developing electronic product.

Altium circuit.png

PIC C Compiler is the first C Compiler developed by CCS company, which for Microchip micro-controllers over 20 years ago. Also, it continues to provide software solutions to developers of embedded applications by using PIC® MCU and dsPIC® DSC devices. This compiler products include pro-level optimization, huge library of built-in functions, and powerful PIC® MCU specific pre-processor commands functions. It can ready-to-run example programs to quickly jump-start any project as well.

PICC C Compiler.png

Group members

Haobing Wei

Yue Wang


Dr Andrew Allison