SlugSat
About SlugSat

Students working on SlugSat are designing what is known as a CubeSat: a small satellite roughly the size of a loaf of bread, which we plan to launch roughly 250 miles (400 km) above Earth’s surface. We are building the spacecraft from the ground up, and we’ve formed a highly interdisciplinary team in order to do it. Student members have backgrounds in physics, software, mechanical design, and electrical engineering, and continue to broaden their skill sets with each new challenge. Our goal is to give UC Santa Cruz students and scientists a platform in low Earth orbit to further atmospheric research and lay a foundation for space-based engineering at UCSC.

Beyond giving undergraduates hands-on experience, SlugSat is designed to serve both UCSC scientists and the greater community. Our satellite will carry two payloads: a student-built HF linear transponder for amateur radio use, and a terrestrial gamma-ray flash experiment provided by the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics. From these efforts, SlugSat is paving the way for an ongoing space program at UCSC and is finally providing students with access to aerospace engineering. Every aspect of this project is student-driven, from design to management to execution. Learn more about our project by looking through our website or contacting us below!

SlugSat is in its fourth year right now, and we are developing the engineering prototype of our first cubesat, While we are currently a senior design project within the ECE department at BSOE, SlugSat will be transitioning to a club next year in order to allow individuals not in the ECE capstone courses to get involved.

Payloads

Linear Transponder

The linear transponder is the ham radio component of our CubeSat. It receives a radio signal and automatically re-transmits on another frequency, which is used to rebroadcast signals coming in the HF frequency range to provide greater range for the ham radio community. Read more >>

Science Experiment

The science experiment is a radiation detector used to aid in the research of detecting terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) for SCIPP. Read more >>

Auxillary Systems

On-Board Computer (OBC)

OBC manages the functions on the satellite: it is essentially the "brain" of the craft. Read more >>

Electric Power System (EPS)

EPS The power system is responsible for providing power rails to the other systems and managing power delivery and energy storage. Read more >>

Attitude Control System (ACS)

ACS ensures that the satellite is properly oriented at all times in order to ensure that antennas point towards the ground. Read more >>

Chassis (CHS)

CHS ensures that the external frame of the craft not only complies with NASA standards for CubeSats but that it can also house all of the crafts subsystems, they are also in charge of the crafts thermal control.  Read more >>

Telemetry (TEL)

CHS ensures that the external frame of the craft not only complies with NASA standards for CubeSats but that it can also house all of the crafts subsystems, they are also in charge of the crafts thermal control.  Read more >>

Testing Equipment (TE)

CHS ensures that the external frame of the craft not only complies with NASA standards for CubeSats but that it can also house all of the crafts subsystems, they are also in charge of the crafts thermal control.  Read more >>

Integration

All of these systems must interact and interoperate, which means that a lot of attention must be paid to integration. To that end, we have placed a major emphasis on ensuring that all of the systems work well together, ultimately culminating in the "flat sat" at the end of the 2018-19 school year which is the stepping stone to Year 4's work towards converting the craft from the Flat Sat development stage to the Engineering Unit stage.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions, please send us an email at slugsat@soe.ucsc.edu, or drop us a line at (831) 204-0113, you can even reach out to us on Discord. You can also find us on Facebook or LinkedIn.