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In two and a half years, SatRevolution has evolved from being an R&D division developing mobile applications, VA and AR interfaces, into producing shoebox-sized satellites. On April 17, the company will launch its second CubeSat satellite.
"As a newcomer in the industry, you have to be creative, achieve your milestones yourself, and seek advice by experts when necessary," says Tomasz Poźniak, chief development officer at SatRevolution. "The speed of technology, and availability of components and parts at a lower cost than earlier makes it possible to produce satellites, even if the budgets start at a smaller scale."
The company was able to achieve these milestones through confidence, hardwork, and experienced partners like printed circuit broker Elmatica, which is involved in product development.
"Our strategy is to ameliorate our strengths, focus on what we do best, and involve experts for special input, like Elmatica, with their expertise on the PCB level. Whereas some fields might not be rocket science, it’s still some pretty harsh conditions these satellites need to face, affecting both the design and of course the PCB, keeping it alive," says Poźniak.
"When designing for the space industry, it’s important to remember that there is no way to fix anything if problems occur after launch. Therefore, it’s important to think about each element on the PCB—and how it will affect the rest of the product—taking into account a lot of variables which may occur, and possibly destroy the module/satellite, like radiation, temperature, vibration or outgassing,” says Mateusz Keller, spacecraft division specialist at SatRevolution.
Keller explains that a challenge they faced is to make a PCB with all assumptions and calculations at the first point. Creating a system which works even if parts of it do not. Designing for space sounds really complicated but Keller thinks there is learning in everything. “The best way, is to analyze all parameters, find the biggest threats and then try to design the PCB in a way so it will be resistant for most of them,” says Keller.
"Working with SatRevolution has been a pleasure and educational for both parties. As the moon landing was explained as a small step for man but a giant leap for mankind, the launch of SatRevolution’s first satellites might have been a small step into space, but a giant leap for them. We are so proud to be part of this project, sharing our knowledge and experience about PCB design for space," says Rafal Stankiewicz, Country Manager Poland for Elmatica.
The advice to young designers eager to get involved in the space industry is simple from SatRevolution: "Keep on moving forward no matter what and keep in mind that manufacturing CubeSats is not rocket science," Poźniak says.