Pumpkin is at the CubeSat Developer's Workshop in San Luis Obispo Tuesday through Thursday of this week. Come by our booth and see what we've been up to! Also, please check out our recent white paper on rover power systems.
A group of middle school students in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (USA) built a 2U CubeSat with help from faculty and mentors, and launched it in June of 2021. Deployed from the ISS, RamSat remained in LEO orbit until October 2022, when its final transmission was received over South Africa, prior to deorbiting.
A Pumpkin 12U SUPERNOVA bus -- the bus portion of the U.S. Space Force's EWS Rapid Revisit Optical Cloud Imager (RROCI) mission awarded to Orion Space Systems (OSS) in Colorado -- has completed its environmental test campaign with the payload fully integrated.
+Z end of EWS/RROCI post-vibe in OSS's clean room. Image courtesy of Adam Reif.
The EWS/RROCI 12U SUPERNOVA bus incorporates several unique Pumpkin subsystems, including the articulated 132W DASA array, the EPSM 1 multi-channel power system and two BM 2 intelligent batteries. "At each and every point in the environmental test campaign of this Pumpkin 12U SUPERNOVA bus, TVAC and/or vibe testing identified zero issues surrounding Pumpkin components and subsystems," said Dr. Andrew Kalman, Pumpkin's President & CTO. "We're very pleased to support the Space Force's mission with this highly capable Pumpkin bus."
COVID-19 shut down the SmallSat Conference in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, Pumpkin is back in Logan, Utah. Please come by the booth to discuss your satellite-related needs!
Pumpkin offers both commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and custom solar panels for space missions. Pumpkin just completed a set of four panels for a 2U CubeSat, with three COTS panels and one custom panel.
This panel set consists of two COTS 4-cell side panels for a 2U CubeSat, one COTS 4-cell front panel for a 2U CubeSat, and one custom side panel derived from a COTS 2U-size panel, but with a customer-specific cutout. All four panels also include temperature sensors and Sun sensors.
Pumpkin has delivered thousands of Watts of space-grade solar panels, with a 100% on-orbit success rate. Please contact Pumpkin with your solar panel needs.
The first external user of Pumpkin's TVAC chamber completed a week of testing this week.
View into Pumpkin's TVAC chamber.
Pumpkin's TVAC chamber is designed to be a lights-out, 24x7 test facility with remote access to maximize in-chamber test plans even in the wee hours of the morning. It's equipped with a wide range of pre-existing thermocouple, fiber, Ethernet, RF, GPIO/power and GNSS feedthroughs, and has over 1000W of programmable PSUs at its disposal. Data is fully logged in real time to an InfluxDB database with concurrent Grafana visualizations provided.
Pumpkin recently delivered a 72W solar panel that is destined for the Moon. Configured as a single 6x10S1P + 1x12S1P solar array on a carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb substrate, this panel will drive a Pumpkin power system consisting of a Pumpkin EPSM1 multi-channel high-efficiency power system with two Pumpkin BM2 100Wh batteries attached, all in a lunar rover.
This solar panel has the usual hallmarks of a Pumpkin PMDSAS solar array, including redundant paths for every solar cell string's signal net, redundant bleed resistors, multiple temperature sensors, an extremely high degree of design symmetry to reduce cost, and many design details customized for this particular application. The signal traces are implemented exclusively on the top layer of the PMDSAS sub-panels via careful maze routing, for the ultimate in reliability.
Pumpkin is delivering deliver a Pumpkin SUPERNOVA bus stack to a customer, in the form of a stack of modules that fits inside a 3U CubeSat. Additionally, the customer has the same stack inside a Rackmount SUPERNOVA Satellite Simulator (RS3).
Both stacks run the same Pumpkin flight software, simulate a variety of Pumpkin flight modules, include a real GPSRM1 GNSS receiver module, and provide SUPERNOVA-class payload connectivity via serial and Ethernet connections. The consistency of the SUPERNOVA architecture and the friendliness of its open flight software architecture promote rapid spacecraft development and payload integration.
A recent Wired article includes a nice image of NovaWurks' SIMPL HiSat satellite on orbit. On it you can see two of the many Pumpkin solar panels that HiSat uses. The fixed panels power the individual HiSat cells as the system is aggregated; once the HiSat's on-orbit configuration is complete, it deploys the two DCSAs for hundreds of Watts of power. An overview of the SIMPL mission shows the DCSAs in their deployed configuration, and is available here.
Additionally, the object at the upper left that is mounted at a slight angle is SNAPS, the Stanford Nano PictureSat, a student project at Stanford University's Space & Systems Development Lab (SSDL) from 2012 to 2016. Stanford students David Gerson, Andrew Ow, Rishi Bedi and Thomas Teisberg were instrumental in reconfiguring SNAPS for testing and integration at NovaWurks.
NASA's Dr. Ved Chirayath's Fluid Lensing work as applied to imaging through water from the air is described at length in this ScienceDirect article entitled "Fluid lensing and machine learning for centimeter-resolution airborne assessment of coral reefs in American Samoa."
In 2015, Chirayath's group commissioned a pair of Pumpkin HiPPiECams (renamed "FluidCams" by NASA) capable of 90fps 2kx2k RGB and monochromatic 12-bit image capture, limited only by on-board storage. The two cameras were delivered on time and under budget.
HiPPiECam incorporates an Intel i5 processor running a Pumpkin image capture program on Windows 7, a Pumpkin SupMCU control module, dual SSDs in a RAID0 configuration, and a breakout board with multiple interfaces (Ethernet, USB, eSATA, etc.) to the i5. The imager interfaced to the i5 over USB 3. Pumpkin had a series of Leica 1:2.8/28 ASPH and Elmar-M 1:3.5/135 lenses tested at Olaf Optical Testing and fully characterized for field curvature, etc., so that the complete optical path could be optimized in post-processing.
Since then, Pumpkin has continued to create new high-speed image capture architectures. The latest is nVidia Tegra-based, runs Linux, has direct GPS geotagging support, runs from AC or DC power and supports multiple cameras with GeoTIFF and other supported output formats.