The Micro-Satellite Modular Platform

The modular platform developed by the Small Satellite Program has been designed with three points in mind: manufacturing, ease of integration and testing, and affordability. The design revolves around a modular concept that can be adapted to your needs. Modules on the platform consist of pre-assembled subsystem components. They can be attached and pre-wired to a structure panela which can then be attached to the rest of the satellite. With this versatility, modules do not necessarily carry a specific function but can be completely refurbished to meet the mission requirements. In order to increase access to multiple missions, the platform can be configured both externally and internally. As the example, the TOROID mission uses the "Heavy I " configuration while the USUsat IImission used the "light " configuration for the inside. Note the "Heavy I" configuration uses a deck panel on the inside to provide a mounting point to the EUV photometer used on TOROID. The solar cells are mounted on the exterior using modular panels as well. The small satellite team can inform you on the best configuration for your needs.


Internal Configuration

Light Stiffened
Heavy I
Heavy II

  • Basic model
  • Panel mounted
  • Light Payloads
  • Deployable or
     patch antennae
  • Body mounted
     solar cells
  • Possible openings
     in structure for

  • Panel mounted
  • Increase natural
  • Possible openings
     in structure for

  • One deck
  • Heavy and large
     payload on deck
  • Possible openings
     in structure for

  • Two deck additions
  • Multiple heavy
  • Possible openings
     in structure for


External Configuration

Body mounted cells
1 top deployable panel
2 top delployable panels
4 top deployable panels
1 side deployable panels
2 side deployable panels
3 deployable panels
Folded Configuration


Examples of Configurations


Current modular configuration

The current small-satellite uses the first heavy modular configuration where components are directly mounted and pre-wired on panels. The electrical interface is provided through intra-module connectors that connect to the bottom panel where the data and command handling unit is located. This modular configuration makes working with the satellite easier and allows quick assembly and disassembly.



- Copyright© 2006 Utah State University USU Nanosat Program