PEASSS Description of Work

The main objective of PEASSS can be translated into four sub-goals:

  1. Demonstration and qualification in space environment of a piezoelectric actuated "small structure" as a means of pointing an optical instrument, while correcting for thermal deformation and laying the groundwork for cancelling acoustic noise from the satellite, to achieve better accuracy than current technology, with lower mass, power use, and/or reaction time.
  2. Demonstration and qualification in space environment of a piezoelectric actuated "smart structure" as a means of power generation from the pyroelectric effect, capable of generating >1Wlm2.
  3. Demonstration and qualification in space environment of Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG's) combined with a miniaturized interrogator, in order to measure composite structure strain for structure actuation control and temperature with 0.3" accuracy.
  4. Demonstration and qualification in space environment of next generation power conditioning and data acquisition components for Nano-satellites by integrating new energy scavenging methods and accommodating distributed sensor networks and novel data gathering techniques.


The first two objectives use the piezoelectric technology to demonstrate precision actuation and power generation. in Space, while the last two objectives are aimed at measuring and exploring their performance. The work plan will follow the proven flow for development of space technology, to research and develop specific functional components for the proposed satellite, in order to maximize the advancement of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the technologies. The technical part of the work plan is divided into 6 technical work packages: WP1 up to WP6.

  1. WP1 consists of Systems Research & Engineering, which will develop and monitor specifications and interfaces such that the developed components come together as a fully functional system.
  2. WP2 consists of component Design Development. Under this work package, the requirements specified under WP1 will be met by designs for the system components, where necessary preceded by a trade-off study.
  3. WP3 Consists of Breadboard Development and Testing. ln this Work Package, the designs that were specified for each of the components in WP3 will be produced in breadboard format for functional development and testing. Again, this WP will focus on breadboard testing the nanosat electronics, power generation, piezo-actuated structure and FBG sensors and interrogator.
  4. WP4 is the component Manufacturing, Assembly, integration and Testing (MAIT). Here the components will evolve from breadboard models to flight-test ready hardware and related software. By the end of WPs, the nanosat electronics, power generation, smart structure, and FBG sensor system will be fully developed and tested, and ready to be integrated into a working satellite.
  5. WP5 consists of satellite integration and functional ground testing.
  6. WP6 is space environment testing of the satellite delivered after WP6. This includes space environment testing analysis and design, space environment operations and test readiness, and space environment testing.