On orbit validation of structural health monitoring by a low-cost technological mission

Andrea Bucchi*, Paolo Gaudenzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aim of this work is demonstrate the on-orbit reliability of piezoelectric technologies for structural sensing purposes; a low cost mission is analysed using a picosatellite platform as CubeSat. CubeSat permits the development of a small mission with a reduced effort in terms of time, economic and human resources. The European launcher Vega is selected with CubeSat as secondary payload; the mission could be scheduled among the first Vega missions in order to set and better describe mechanical launcher environment into the fairing. During launch phase the vibration level is registered by piezoelectric sensors installed as primary payload on CubeSat. A plate with piezoelectric patches is used as a middle panel into the CubeSat structure; direct piezoelectric effect permits to convert the mechanical environment (vibration) into electric output as a voltage. Voltage output is sampled and converted in a digital output suitable for on-board memory and signal data capture is completed. During orbit phase CubeSat sends data to ground station for the vibration level recorded; proper sampling rate (during the launch) and data rate (downlink) assure the complete data transfer (between satellite and ground station) in a limited number of orbits. The sizing of satellite sub-systems and choice of hardware equipment are completed by an estimation of the cost.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Astronautical Federation - 59th International Astronautical Congress 2008, IAC 2008
PublisherCurran Associates, Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781615671601
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Event59th International Astronautical Congress 2008, IAC 2008 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Sept 20083 Oct 2008


Conference59th International Astronautical Congress 2008, IAC 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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