Control System

For a Thermoelectric Cooler


Our project is to design a cooling controller for a small, low-earth orbit satellite, called a CubeSat. One of the CubeSat's jobs is to measure infrared waves coming through clouds. The infrared detector has to be at 200 +/- .1 Kelvin in order to operate. Our controller's job is to cool the satellite to 200 K in preparation for a measurement, and then maintain that temperature until the measurements are done. This occurs once every orbit, or about every 90 minutes.

Because the CubeSat is so small and has so many functions, we have to restrain our power consumption as much as possible. A large portion of the project will go into comparing different methods of controlling and driving the cooler, particularly in the area of power efficiency.


Previous work:

We are building on the work of a Summer 2010 Olin-NASA team. Their work can be found Here For our purposes, they have provided: