Thermal and Structural Analysis of a CubeSat

  • Khalid Al Nahyan

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The United Arab Emirate's (UAE) goal is to be among the top globally recognized countries within the field of cosmology, astronomy, technological innovation and advanced technology to counterpoint human information. Space exploration has been a really necessary goal to the UAE, and the country's program hit completely different milestones concerning science and exploration. Lately, a huge milestone in the UAE's burgeoning space industry, led by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) was reached when the first UAE national successfully boarded an international space station. A satellite designed and developed by UAE students was launched on November 17th, 2018. The UAE's space sector is presently moving fast towards new technologies and explorations reaching to place the name of the UAE among the highest countries in technology and analysis. Due to the increased interest in the outer space, more research regarding satellites are being conducted over the years. The earliest man-made satellites were larger than some of today's satellites. Lately, there have been a variety of small satellites (nanosatellites) that have the benefits of their small size, cost, lightweight and easy to launch specifications. Research has been developed regarding the thermal and structural behavior of nanosatellites (CubeSats). This thesis dives deep into both the thermal and structural analysis to look over the behavior of the Nanosatellite entitled 'MYSAT-1' during its mission around the earth (July 1st, 2019 and December 31st, 2019) under several conditions, including different temperatures and positions. The launch period is considered to be the most critical stage of a CubeSat mission due to the fact that the failure percentage is relatively high, and the chances of survival are slim. Therefore, the structural analysis is very important regarding the success of such missions in which it will help in increasing the chances of success by performing several tests and analysis to test the limitation values for each material used in a CubeSat formation. Additionally, the value of the Factor of Safety (FoS) is measured to assure the safe performance of the material properties during launch. The verification procedure used in this thesis is divided into two methods: verifying by comparing the results with values obtained from Literature Review and other resources, other values were compared to the experimental result obtained from the lab, the operational temperature ranges of the internal components, and the percentage errors from all verifications were calculated. The obtained results were then interpreted to formulate recommendations that can be used to enhance the safety, material-used, durability and compatibility of future CubeSat related missions, research, and to increase the level of confidence regarding the success of MYSAT-1 launch process.
Date of AwardDec 2019
Original languageAmerican English


  • Cosmology
  • astronomy
  • technological innovation
  • space sector
  • Nanosatellite
  • CubeSat
  • Factor of Safety.

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