Orion Design as of January 2001

Faculty Contact: Jonathan How (Email)

Motivation for Orion and Status of the hardware development (900K PDF file)
Orion MIT Home Page with further information here
Orion EM hardware (as of March 2001) and (as of Jan 2001)
Orion Design Team
Click to Enlarge This picture shows the business side of the propulsion system. There is:
  • One propulsion tank, but there are a total of three - with
    enough gas can be stored for multiple experiments.
  • Propulsion electronics (wooden mass model - top left)
  • The fill nozzle (top right, hard to see)
  • Note that this has changed after the phase 0/1 safety review
  • Two (2) regulators (running across the top) and 2 pressure
    relief valves after the regulators (with red trim). This configuration is the result of a design modification, due to concerns raised at the Phase 0/1 safety review.
  • LP plumbing across the bottom.
  • One of the thruster clusters at the top left
Click to Enlarge
  • Other hardware views showing mass models of the electronics, more propulsion tanks and the aluminum battery box
  • Dimensions: 17.5" cube Weight: ~77 lbs
  • Composed of:
    • 5052 Aluminum Honeycomb Panels
    • CRES 303 Inserts, 7075T73 and 6061T6 L brackets,
      10-32 A286 fasteners
    • 120 Hz natural frequency verified by sine sweep and finite
      element model
    • Designed to withstand structural testing at 13.75 G's
      simultaneously in all axes, within an operating temperature
      range between -20C and 30C
  • Complete Pro-E model for reference and stress analysis.
  • Flight materials are in-hand and ready to be cut upon approval of construction procedures.
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
  • Close up of the propulsion system showing the LP plumbing arriving
    from the right
  • There is a local latch valve that is used to isolate these three thrusters
  • The thruster manifold is the aluminum block at the corner that mates to the spacecraft frame
  • There are 3 solenoids that operate each of the thruster valves (2 visible).
  • All 12 thrusters have been tested and are currently being integrated
    with the propulsion control board and the CPU.
  • All flight parts have been acquired and are ready for assembly upon approval of construction procedures
Click to Enlarge
  • View of one of the three torquer coils. The one shown fits under the top face
  • The wooden blocks are mass models of other electronics that are included for the shake tests of the EM
Click to Enlarge
  • Current configuration of the Orion GPS receiver (more details)
  • The 2 receiver boards (three will be used for the flight model)
    are stacked on top of the lower board that is used for the communication.
  • This board has been extensively tested on the ground and with a signal generator.
  • The receiver is tightly integrated with the science computer
Click to Enlarge
  • One of the GPS antenna options that is under consideration
  • Torquer Coil control board - runs the coils and closes a simple feedback loop using the magnetometer which is also shown
  • Basic software to control the coil feedback loop has been written, and is ready to be tested upon integrating the EM electronics.
  • Made from simple and short-lead time materials, the flight parts are either in-hand or will be easy to obtain. .
  • The spacequest computer that is used to handle the C&DH features.
  • Baseline software is nearly complete and ready to be tested in the complete systems integration.
  • Some additional transmitters/receiver electronics are shown below:
  • The basic power distribution board.
  • The design of the Solar cell layout is complete.
  • The inhibit board that is required for the safety reasons is shown below:

November 25, 2002