Highly Integrated Satellites on a Single Silicon Wafer

Project Info

Project Description

The recent trend in satellites has been towards smaller, lighter cubesats on the nanosat scale (~1-10 kg). The next step in this evolution is even smaller, ~150g WaferSats which utilize Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) manufacturing techniques that are ubiquitous in the semiconductor industry to reliably and rapidly produce large volumes of integrated circuits.  The lower launch mass and cost, integration complexity enable shorter design cycles and more frequent launches. However, these benefits come at the cost of severely limited system resources, which constrains capability.  Thus, an integrated design methodology is used to maximize capability in the face of severe constraints. A myriad of WaferSats operating in a constellation can offset the reduced individual capability, yielding a lower cost, lower risk opportunity for space missions. This project is funded by MIT Lincoln Lab in a collaborative research effort through Beaver Works.