Pearl Spacecraft

Designed to provide high capability in a CubeSat form factor, the Pearl spacecraft platform is a set of standard and customizable components. Pearl electronics provide high data throughput, compact form factor, open and common standard, low to medium cost, and traceable processes and procedures. The 3U Pearl is one of the smallest spacecraft to provide capabilities such as a VxWorks operating system, 3-axis attitude control with a high order Kalman Filter, and floating point operations for navigation and mission data processing. Available options include 1, 1.5, and 3U configurations. Pearl components include:

  • Single Board Computer (SBC): Designed specifically for high reliability nanosatellite class applications
    • CPU: LEON 3 fault tolerant
    • 128 MB SDRAM with EDAC
    • To a maximum of 64 GB flash
    • 512 kB SuROM
    • PCI-104 form factor and bus architecture
    • To a maximum of 150 MHz and I80 DMIPS (UT699E)
    • Power ~2.0 W minimum (clock dependent)
    • Floating point processor
    • I/O with two SpaceWire ports (100 Mbps), PCI bus (32 bit to 33 MHz)
  • Interface eXpansion Card (IXC): Primary interface to most spacecraft hardware
    • Four sun sensors
    • One external magnetometer input
    • One on-board magnetometer
    • GPS daughterboard interface
    • Two external temperature inputs
    • Internal temperature, volt, and current monitors
    • Four deployment switch outputs
    • Reaction wheel control interface
    • Three torque coils (variable voltage control)
  • Electrical Power System (EPS) Controller: Tracks peak-power in a higher-reliability design than standard CubeSat EPS
    • Two BCR channels (handles multiple arrays)
    • 20 W / channel
    • Peak power tracking
    • Two switched battery bus outputs (essential and non-essential)
    • Two regulated bus outputs
      • 5V and 3.3V high efficiency (>85%)
    • Voltage and current monitoring on all buses
    • Autonomous fault control
  • Battery assembly
    • 3S1P configuration
    • 2.2 A-h battery
    • 12.3 V
    • Thermostatic controlled heater
    • Can be stacked to increase battery capacity
  • Power Switch Card (PSC): Switches unregulated battery voltage
    • Eight channels
    • Four amps per channel
    • Optional independent fuse protection on each channel
    • Flexible current monitoring and/or limiting for each channel
    • May be stacked as needed to obtain desired number of switches