Blog from September, 2016

RIT SPEX: Week 5

Hello everyone,

On Saturday we started working on Concept of Operations documents for each subsystem, we'll be working on these over the next two weeks. Next Saturday, we'll review the subsystem requirements, making sure they are clear, concise, and comprehensive and go over the first pass at the risk assessment matrix. Then we'll be coming together for our first design review in 2 weeks. This will be an opportunity to verify that all subsystem requirements are met and that we have a clear path going forward as we start to write the proposal.
Start thinking of satellite names. Every space mission needs a cool name!
Also the swag form has now closed and Chris Pape is working on processing the order. Stay tuned for updates


  • Subsystem Update
  • Requirements Review
  • Risk Assessment Review
  • Work on ConOp/Risk Matrix/Budgets
The meeting is Saturday 9/24 at 12pm in HLC 14-2575.
T.J. Tarazevits
Student Director, RIT Space Exploration
RIT SPEX: Week 4

Hello everyone,

I'd like to thank everyone for their hard work so far. We've made great progress on the subsystem requirements and we'll be moving onto the next phase Saturday. 

Concept of Operations

"The Concept of Operations is a document describing the characteristics of a proposed system from the viewpoint of an individual who will use that system. It is used to communicate the quantitative and qualitative system characteristics to all stakeholders." - Wikipedia
Each subsystem will be working on a ConOp document that combines subsystem requirements, engineering requirements, components, and mission process into a document that covers that subsystem's role in the overall mission.

Risk Assessment Matrix

We'll be looking at the various failures modes each subsystem may face during the mission. Each risk has two values, severity and likelihood, which when multiplied together shows the level that risk presents to the mission. This will help inform of what risks need to be mitigated to ensure a successful mission. We'll be growing and refining this matrix over the length of the project.

Spacecraft Budgets

As we get a better idea of what kind of components will be going into the vehicle, we'll be able to start budgeting for these components. Common budgets are Mass/Volume/Power/Data. Each subsystem must share the limited resources available to the satellite bus. This will help inform us as we make design choices for the satellite.


  • Subsystem Update
  • Project Update
  • Risk Assessment Matrix
  • Link Budget
  • Concept of Operations 
We're meeting as usual Saturday in HLC 14-2575 at 12pm
RIT SPEX: Week 3

Hello everyone,

Last weekend went really well and we made a lot of great progress on defining the mission and subsystem requirements. The next major milestone for the CSLI is to define a Concept of Operations for each subsystem. This is a document that defines how the satellite will meet its subsystem requirements. This includes the mission plan, major components, and timeline to flight. This is the bulk of the design process before we start writing the CSLI documents and will take several weeks.

We'll be meeting Saturday, at 12pm in HLC 14-2575/14-2585. 


  • Subsystem Update
  • Wrap up Subsystem Requirements
  • ConOp Overview


Chris Pape has been working on swag orders. There are three options in different price ranges: T-Shirts, Polos, and Jackets
Fill out the form if you are interested. Since the price is subject to the quanitity that you order, we're going to consider responses on the form as commitments to purchase once the order goes out.

Project Sign-ups

We have several side projects in addition to the CSLI. These will happen only if there is interest. All of these projects have a short timeline(~semester) and will be hands-on. If your're looking to be more involved and don't have much work to do in your subsystem, I encourage you to sign up!

Team Roster

Dr. Patru (EE professor and SPEX advisor) would like a team roster. This will also be useful to determine our knowledge base.
major/minor (if applicable)
year level (in major)
certifications/experiences/projects/other (e.g. licensed amateur radio operator)
any co-op experience
This is our main contact list. Some of your information is already on the form from the club fair/past rosters.
Hope everyone is having a great week and I'll see you all Saturday!
T.J. Tarazevits
Student Director, RIT Space Exploration

Hello Everyone!

Our second meeting will be this Saturday at 12 in Hugh L. Carey Hall Room 14-2585! Please bring your laptops this week you will be needing them!
  • Poll interest for KSP night
  • Sign Letter for Astronaut Chris Hadfield 
  • Swag
  • 30-60 second Subsystem review
  • Discuss and label functional, operational and constraint requirements of each sub system
I hope you all had a great second week of school and see you tomorrow! 
Deputy Director of Technology
PJ Zaccagnino

Hello everyone, 

First General Meeting

Our first general meeting is this Saturday, August 27th, @ 12pm in Hugh. L. Carey 14-2575/14-2585. We'll be in this room for the entire semester. If you are interested in joining SPEX I encourage you to attend this meeting as we will be kicking off our work on the CubeSat Launch Initiative. If you need interpreting services, please request them through RIT.
Meeting Outline:
  • Update on Mission Proposal
  • Define CubeSat Launch Initiative(CSLI) proposal requirements and deadlines
  • Overview of Subsystems
  • Divide into Subsystem groups and choose group leads.

Freshman/New Member Introduction Meetings

We'll be having two info sessions on Tuesday 8/30 and Wednesday 8/31 @ 5pm in HLC 14-2575/14-2585. PJ will be covering a brief history of SPEX, a breakdown of cubesats by subsystem, and an overview of the projects for the semester. If you need interpreting services, please request them through RIT.


Attached below are a few good resources to read.
Gantt Chart Timeline for the CSLI

CubeSat Primer: Contain good resources on cubesats, chapters from Space Mission Analysis and Design, and NASA's Small Satellite State of the Art Technology report.

RIT SPEX Fall Outline: Overview of our subsystem goals for the proposal and other goals for the group.

I can't wait to see you all tomorrow. Let's have a great semester.

T.J. Tarazevits
Student Director, RIT Space Exploration