Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara, CA : Santa Clara Univsersity, 2012.

First Advisor

Christopher Kitts


The advancements in technologies used in the aerospace industry have allowed universities to experiment with and develop small-scale satellites. Universities are taking advantage of the relatively low development costs of nanosatellite programs to give students experience in the field of spacecraft design. The purpose of Santa Clara University's team, Nanosatellite Fabrication and Analysis, is to create a process to expedite the design, analysis, and fabrication phase of nanosatellite structures for students working on future satellite missions. The objective is to design four baseline nanosatellite structures to accommodate a range of potential missions where the designs are simple enough to be completely fabricated by students utilizing only the tools found in the Santa Clara University's machine lab. Finite element analysis is conducted to ensure the designs meet NASA standards for natural frequency and that it can survive the forces it is subjected to during a launch. SatTherm, an easy to use thermal analysis tool for small spacecrafts, was used to conduct initial thermal simulations of the nanosatellite to determine the type of thermal components that will work for future missions. The success of team Nanosatellite Fabrication and Analysis proves that students can fabricate the structural frame of a nanosatellite using only the tools available in SCU's machine lab.