Using a CubeSat Reference Architecture for Accelerated Model Development and Analysis

Authored by: Major Sean Kelly , David Jacques , Brad Ayres , Richard Cobb , Thomas Ford

Handbook of Scholarly Publications from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Volume 1, 2000–2020

Print publication date:  December  2022
Online publication date:  December  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032116679
eBook ISBN: 9781003220978
Adobe ISBN:


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The domain of space systems engineering is transitioning to using model-based systems engineering tools, and reference architectures can assist with this transition. A reference architecture is a tool to capture prior knowledge and provide a starting point for teams to build from, facilitating rapid design, prototyping, and requirement verification and validation. This chapter describes a current effort to create a CubeSat reference architecture for use in a university setting, aiming to shorten the development time and improve model and design quality for teams going through an accelerated design timeline. The status of this CubeSat reference architecture will be described, and two features will be highlighted in greater detail: built-in analysis using parametric diagrams, and stakeholder document generation. Future improvements for this reference architecture will also be discussed.

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