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Mechanical structure for OreSat

This repo contains the top-level assembly of OreSat and the trivial subassemblies. If you'd like to contribute, join us on Zoom (Fridays at 2 PM and Sundays at 10 AM, Pacific Time), read the issues, and/or read the contributions guide.

Please read our notes on using Git Bash for Structure before you start!


How to Select all COTS parts

  • Tools -> Component Selection -> Advanced Select...
  • Either:
    • Filter for document names which contain COTS. Name this selection and save it.
    • Import selectCOTS.xml
  • Apply the selection.
  • Edit -> Hide -> Current Display State
    This hides any components which come from the COTS/ directory (really anything with "COTS" in the name), which reduces lag significantly.
    If you want to show them again, use the same filter process, but show the current display state. If you want to show everything, you can just ctrl+a in the feature tree. If you're showing lots of COTS parts, please hide them before committing, since it can cause the model to load very slowly.

How to Use the OreSat Materials Database

  • Tools -> Options -> File Locations
  • Show folders for Material Databases.
  • Add the OreSat repo to the list.

You can easily extend and modify the database through the "Edit Material" menu. It's a plain XML file, so Git will track it as usual. Do not simply copy the database to the default folders! Other people won't be able to access the materials you add/change.


If you're looking for tasks to complete, check the issues or the meeting notes. This README is just too low-traffic to be useful as a TODO.

Repo Structure

  • OreSat.SLDASM
    The complete assembly of OreSat
  • AssemblyJig What we use to hold OreSat on tables/for display
  • Backplane
    The hub which provides power and data to all the boards
  • BatteryCard The assembly that holds the batteries to the card; includes inhibit switches
  • Cameras Parts/subassemblies for the cameras
  • COTS
    Any Commercial-Off-The-Shelf parts -- screws, connectors, et cetera.
  • DebugConnector
    The connector that allows for easy debugging of the satellite
  • Endcap
    The boards that are placed on the +Z and -Z ends of the satellite
  • Endcards
    The cards placed next to the Endcaps; hold the deployable antennas
  • Frames The +X and -X Frames, as well as the Y frames; wedges and triangles
  • GenericCard
    Parts/subassemblies for the generic card; other cards for OreSat
  • LICENSE CERN OHL licensing
  • ReactionWheels The wheels that are located in the center of OreSat and help it spin while in orbit
  • Solar
    _Solar panel boards
  • VibrationJig
    The fixtures that hold OreSat on the vibration table during testing
  • VolumeKeepout
    Solids for quickly checking if we conform to the CDS, by checking for interferences


These are just some terms that are relevant to the structure, non-obvious to an MME, or non-standard.

  • The X and Z axes are aligned to the features described below, and the Y axis is oriented to obey the right hand rule. The axes of the top-level assembly follow this convention. This convention matches that of our launch provider.
  • A board is any printed circuit board (PCB).
  • A card a board that slides into the rack structure of the satellite.
  • An endcap is a board that is screwed onto one of the +/-Z faces.
  • An endcard is a card that slides in under the +Z EndCap or above the -Z EndCap.
  • Rack and structure both refer to the assembly of aluminum frames to which all the boards mount.
  • The sides are the +/-Y components of the rack. They have the slots that the cards slide into.
  • The -X side is the location of the backplane, while the +X side is placed on last, acting somewhat like a lid
  • The backplane is the long board that sits on the -X face of the satellite. It transfers power, data, and RF between the boards.
  • The turnstile antenna is the four-pronged antenna on the -Z face of the satellite. It provides an omnidirectional, low-data-rate signal to the ground.
  • The helical or high gain antenna is the spiral, single-pronged antenna on the +Z face of the satellite. It's the narrow-beam, high-data-rate antenna the satellite uses for transmitting video.


Copyright Portland State Aerospace Society 2018.

This documentation describes Open Hardware and is licensed under the CERN OHL v. 1.2. You may redistribute and modify this documentation under the terms of the CERN OHL v.1.2. This documentation is distributed WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY, INCLUDING OF MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTORY QUALITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Please see the CERN OHL v.1.2 for applicable conditions.

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Mechanical structure for OreSat



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