Kevin Croissant, Gregory Jenkins, Ryan McKnight, Brian C. Peters, Sabrina Ugazio and Frank van Graas, Ohio University

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Abstract:

Being a low-cost space technology, CubeSats enable the development of space missions for educational purposes as well as for technology demonstrations. Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components are often an option to develop CubeSat missions meeting requirements in terms of performance, cost and development time. Bobcat-1 is the first CubeSat developed in the Avionics Engineering Center (AEC) at Ohio University, (School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), in Athens, Ohio. Bobcat-1 was selected for launch through the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) and launched on October 2, 2020. In [1], which was produced by NASA to support CSLI, information and guidelines are provided, which have been followed to develop Bobcat-1. The project has two main objectives: one educational and one scientific. The educational mission of Bobcat1 is to provide students (undergraduate and graduate) with hands-on experience with a spacecraft mission through all stages including design, development, control, operation, data management, data processing, and analysis. Furthermore, a larger number of undergraduate students and high-school students will be involved through the outreach program with the involvement of Ohio University’s Amateur Radio Club. The scientific objective is related to Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) interoperability, which is crucial in challenging environments such as high altitude Space Service volume (SSV) [1 - 4]. Bobcat-1 will enable an in-space experiment to evaluate the performance of GNSS inter-constellation time offset estimation from Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Details of the mission motivations are given in [5]. In this paper, the high-level mission requirements, the design and development of the CubeSat, and the design and development of the ground station will be detailed.