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SeaHawk CubeSat Satellite Bus

AAC-Clyde Space

PI: Craig Clark

Development Team:

  • Craig Clark (CEO/CTO)
  • Ross Marshall (Operations Manager)
  • John Charlick (Head of Projects)
  • Hessel Gorter (Project Manager)
  • Hazel Jeffrey (Systems Engineer)

Preliminary Design of SeaHawk CubeSat Architecture

SeaHawk Cubesat design was based on a satellite bus similar to CubeSat UKube-1 (below) which was launched as a secondary payload on July 8, 2014 (15:58:28 UTC) on a Soyuz-2-1b launch vehicle with Fregat-M upper stage from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. UKube-1 [UK universal bus experiment -1]. Ukube was developed through a partnership linking Clyde Space (member of our science team) and University of Strathclyde with the UK Space Agency (UKSA), the UK Technology Strategy Board (UK-TSB) and UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK-STFC).


Ukube-1 spacecraft is a 3U CubeSat built and operated by United Kingdom Space Agency with Clyde Space Ltd. being prime contractor to demonstrate a 3U satellite bus and a series of five technical demonstrator payloads. Primary objectives of the mission included demonstration of space technology from UK, feasibility of using a CubeSat payload to gather useful scientific data, demonstration of university involvement in operation of a space mission, and service as a STEM outreach platform. Image: Clyde Spae


Nominal Design. The conceptual system design for SeaHawk 3U CubeSat, indicating the subsystem classification within the spacecraft, is displayed below. The functional architecture is based upon the CubeSat Kit (CSK) PC/104 board format and the additional interfaces required by mission. Our starting design was a modification of UKube-1. By working closely with an experienced CubeSat design team and profiting from "lessons learned" from one of the largest vendors of CubeSat parts and systems in the world we tried to maximize the potential for success of this Ocean Color Mission. In addition, by treating the satellite bus and sensor subsystem as a single instrument package with close coordination between the Sensor Design Team and the CubeSat Design Team allows us to optimize the design of the satellite bus to meet the power, data handling, storage and transmission demands of the sensor, while using space tested equipment and a proven satellite bus.

Preliminary SeaHawk Architecture

Overview of preliminary SeaHawk CubeSat components and modular architecture.

AAC-Clyde Space Mission:

  • AAC-Clyde Space are building some of the most capable CubeSats ever built, enabling high-quality science and advanced communications. AAC-Clyde Space are leading the way for future nanosatellite development.