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CubeSat Kit Price & Availability

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CubeSat Kit Price & Availability

Postby Unregistered User » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:51 am

We are interested to buy several complete CubeSat kits (1U size) and use them in our lab for educational purpose.

I would like to ask you several questions regarding the CubeSat kit:

1. How long would it take to deliver a CubeSat kit to Germany?

2. What is the price for a complete 1U CubeSat kit? Do you offer any discounts if we buy more kits?

3. Are there any significant differences between the development board and the FM 430 flight module (especially from programming point of view)?

4. Is it possible to connect sensors with analog output directly to the development board/FM 430 flight module?

5. Is it possible to stack more processor boards and use them as a multiple processor system?

6. Which transceivers from the MHX series (from Microhard) can be directly plugged to the board? Do you also provide any software modules which facilitate the interface between the transceiver and the processor board, or we need to develop our own software?

7. Do you also provide a "power board" which can supply the FM430 with power? In case yes, which voltage levels does it accept as inputs? In case not, which voltage levels are accepted by the FM430 board and how much power does it normally require?

8. How is the transceiver supplied with power (via the main board or via external connections)?

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Re: CubeSat Kit Price & Availability

Postby aek » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:17 am

quote:
1. How long would it take to deliver a CubeSat kit to Germany?
1U CubeSat Kits are normally in stock and ready for shipment. Including time in customs, etc., a CubeSat Kit shipped from the USA to Europe normally arrives at the customer in 5-8 business days.

quote:
2. What is the price for a complete 1U CubeSat kit? Do you offer any discounts if we buy more kits?
All of our pricing is listed on our website. The direct link is http://www.pumpkininc.com/content/doc/forms/pricelist.pdf . We have made every effort to price the CubeSat Kit at a very affordable price point so that universities and other educational organizations can take advantage of the CubeSat Kit to develop CubeSats at very low cost. Discounts are available only for larger purchases (5 units or more).

quote:
3. Are there any significant differences between the development board and the FM 430 Flight Module (especially from programming point of view)?
None whatsoever. The FM430 Flight Module is a direct subset of the Deveopment Board's electronics. The Development Board has additional jumpers, an alternate layout and a few extra components (e.g. the RS-232 driver for USART0), but the software for each is identical. You develop and test on the Development Board, then move your payload etc. to the Light Model, program the FM430 Flight Module with the same code, and go.

quote:
4. Is it possible to connect sensors with analog output directly to the development board/FM 430 flight module?
One of the FM430's A/D inputs (A6) is dedicated to enabling and disabling the transceiver interface and is not normally available to the user.

A7 can be used as an A/D input, the DAC1 output, or as a GPIO pin.

If you do not use the transceiver interface on the FM430 (i.e. you develop or purchase your own transceiver / radio module as a CubeSat Kit user module that plugs into the CubeSat Kit Bus), then A0-A5 are available as A/D inputs.

If you do use the transceiver interface on the FM430 (i.e. you purchase a Microhard MHX transceiver, or you purchase or develop a transceiver with the same footprint as the MHX series), then the A/D A0-A5 pins are normally used as hardware handshake lines with the transceiver (-CTS, -DSR, -DCD, -RTS, -DTR and -RESET) and can only be used as A/D inputs when the transceiver interface is disabled.

We made this choice because it is easy (and may yield better noise performance, etc.) to use remote A/D converters (e.g. via I2C) if the need arises. Therefore it is better to "remote" the ADC than it is to lose I/O pins from other on-board peripherals (e.g. timers, etc.) because those features (like wake-on-I/O-pin-change) are not easily replaced with external hardware and are needed on-chip for the maximum real-time performance.

quote:
5. Is it possible to stack more processor boards and use them as a multiple processor system?
Yes. You would have to settle on some form of inter-processor communication (via SPI, I2C, serial, etc) and configure the CubeSat Kit Bus accordingly.

quote:
6. Which transceivers from the MHX series (from Microhard) can be directly plugged to the board? Do you also provide any software modules which facilitate the interface between the transceiver and the processor board, or we need to develop our own software?
Every MHX-series module can be installed, as they all have the same footprint. Whether the MHX transceivers are right for your application is for you to decide. Any transceiver that runs at +5V or less and that can be adapted to the MHX footprint and pinout can be used in that location. Additionally, users can develop their own radios to plug directly into the MHX interface, or to reside elsewhere in the CubeSat Kit, connected via the CubeSat Kit bus. The software supplied with the CubeSat Kit includes well-tested interrupt-driven USART services. Our customers are using those very successfully.

quote:
7. Do you also provide a "power board" which can supply the FM430 with power? In case yes, which voltage levels does it accept as inputs? In case not, which voltage levels are accepted by the FM430 board and how much power does it normally require?
We do not yet have an EPS board designed for space use. We are currently investigating making one that we hope would be sufficiently general-purpose to be used by many missions. We do have the new Linear EPS Module which can be used for terrestrial testing and demonstrations.

The CubeSat Kit is fundamentally a +3.3V design that expects a +5V power source. This is because most high-power transceivers still require in excess of +4V for power. An EPS should deliver adequate +5V and also +3.3V (if desired) to the CubeSat Kit bus. The FM430 requires around 10mW when running at top speed (7.3728MHz), so basically the FM430's power budget is inconsequential.

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[This message has been edited by aek (edited September 12, 2005).]

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aek
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Re: CubeSat Kit Price & Availability

Postby aek » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:22 am

One thing I forgot to mention ...

We generally recommend that users start with one complete CubeSat Kit. That gets them all of the components that are required to get started -- Dev Board, Flight Model with FM430 FLight Module inside, software with a license that permits unlimited users on CubeSat Kits, etc.

We find that in a classroom environment, up to 4 students can work with a single Dev Board at a time.

Then, if you have a need for more Dev Boards, Flight Models, larger structures, etc. you can purchase them individually "a la carte." to suit your requirements.

You will also need an MSP430 compiler + IDE that works with Pumpkin's Salvo RTOS. We recommend CrossWorks for MSP430 from http://www.rowley.co.uk because it is relatively inexpensive (they have a substantial discount for educational users), has some excellent debugging support, and is easy to use. It also generates very good code.

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aek
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Posts: 1888
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2000 11:00 pm


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