Pleiades Rapid Orbital Verification Experimental System (PROVES)
PROVES, or the Pleiades Rapid Orbital Verification Experimental System, is building Bronco Space’s next CubeSat. Yearling is a 1U scheduled to rideshare on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Transporter-6, reaching orbit in November 2022. PROVES-Yearling is built on the PyCubed architecture and is intended to serve as a lab bench in space. Yearling is carrying a spresense camera payload for attitude determination in addition to 3 IMUs. We have prioritized modularity and low-cost hardware to create a CubeSat kit that can be made available to other university CubeSat programs to provide a leg up in the development process. The PROVES kit will contain an unassembled structure, the novel Lovelace flight computer architecture, and a software handbook. Universities will also be able to access the open source files for the entire kit as well. The kit aims to bridge the knowledge gap between what undergraduates are taught and the knowledge required to engineer a spacecraft. PROVES-Yearling and our following CubeSat, PROVES-X, are the first steps to accomplishing these goals.
The Evolution of PROVES
This all first started with the Pleiades CubeSat cluster. It began as a collaboration between CubeSat student organizations from Cal Poly Pomona, Stanford, Portland State, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The plan involved designing and building a fleet of 6 1U and 2 3U CubeSats that would communicate over a mesh network. This would also have the capability of establishing a visual in-space situational awareness through the use of cameras, primarily in the 3Us. In development of this mission, the need for Bronco Space to develop its ability to rapidly produce 1Us and test the technologies that are planned to be integrated into Pleiades had arose. Hence, PROVES was born.
Since then, the mission for PROVES has now expanded. We now plan to create an open-source 1U CubeSat kit that is versatile enough to meet most 1U missions. This kit will include the Lovelace architecture (Backplane, EPS, ADCS, & C&DH boards), sheet metal structure, and a complete software handbook. Overall, in addition to producing a satellite that will meet the Pleiades CubeSat Cluster mission's needs, Bronco Space will be creating a modular product as well.
PROVES-Y Engineering Model
The Y stands for Yearling. This 1U CubeSat design runs on the PyCubed hardware and carries along with it a Sony Spresense camera as well as 3 IMU's.
PROVES-Y Engineering Model
This 1U CubeSat design will run on the Lovelace architecture as well as carry Cosmic Watch as its payload. It will feature more of the modular design that was stated in evolution of PROVES.
Cosmic Watch Payload
The goal of PROVES is to create a 1U CubeSat platform that is easy to use, affordable, open source, and modular. It is to target educators and University CubeSat programs, since the current platforms for CubeSat's are either very expensive or difficult to find open resources on existing designs. It is also to be used in the Pleiades CubSat Cluster program.
PROVES-Y IMU Testing