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
Week 15: Payload Selection

Thank you for everyone who attended today's meeting. Below is the results of our payload review

We decided to hold voting for payloads remotely, so that everyone can have input. The poll will close Tuesday May 17th at midnight.

Remember to consider this will be our main payload for the CSLI proposal and that the payload is just a small part of the overall engineering challenge for the cubesat mission.
The three payloads are:
  • Radiation Memory Test
  • Electrodynamic Tether
  • Atmospheric Re-entry

ImagineRIT 2 Days to Go!

Just a reminder to sign up for a time slot at the booths for Saturday. Amber and Phil will be emailing out final information for Saturday. Meal cards and t-shirts have already been picked up and will be there in the morning. Setup starts at 8am and the festival starts at 10. Good luck on the finishing touches for projects! 

HAB2 Launch Sunday May 8th, 11am Parking Lot H

The HAB team will be launching their second balloon this Sunday. Come out and support your fellow SPEX members and watch as we launch something to the edge of space!

End of Year Dinner at MacGreggor's Next Week TBD

It's a SPEX tradition to end every semester with dinner at MacGregors'. It should be a fun time to hang out and relax going into finals week. I've made a when2meet poll to see what time works the best for everyone. This event is open to all ages.

Feasibility Review Saturday May 14th, 11am A300

Having worked on payload exploration projects this semester, it is time to come together to see where we stand, what worked and what didn't, and how we'll proceed as a group going into the Fall semester. Everyone's encouraged to attend, even if you didn't work on a payload project. We'll also be discussing improvements to the group in general.


We need everyone's help to make Imagine an even better success than last year. We need volunteers to man the booths during the event. You can sign up for a 30 minute block by putting your name in the Volunteer Sign up sheet. We need a minimum of 2 people to be at the booths at a time. Amber and Phil are printing posters for the booths and need designs from each group. Attached below is a template where you can swap in info for each project.

Saturday Meeting 11am Gosnell 08-2365- ImagineRIT Posters, Feasibility 1-Pagers

We're looking into getting our payload exploration work reviewed by experts in the field. In order to do this each group needs to make a 1-pager. If you haven't made a 1-pager before, they are 1 page summaries of a project, providing an overview of the idea, the process/timeline, and the theory/experiment. Almost all fo the information for the Imagine poster should carry to these.


  • Project Updates(Tether, MemTest, ADCS, SPEXcast, Astro, HAB)
  • ImagineRIT Prep - Posters are due Wednesday April 17th
  • Project Work
  • HAB Build Day 

Astronomy Week @ RIT

KSP event Friday 4/15/2015 in 08-1250 @5pm
SPEX is hosting a Kerbal Space Program challenge this Friday for Astronomy Week. Phil and I will be hosting the event as a special live recording of SPEXcast. 
Welcome to SPEX mailing list 2.0! I've compiled all the names that we had on the wiki/new member form/etc into one master list. If you do not wish to receive any more SPEX emails or have been inadvertently been re-added, please reply to this message and you'll be removed.
Posted by TJ Tarazevits from

The following message was sent by

Hello Everyone,

I hope everybody had a relaxing Spring break and is transitioning into the second half of the semester. 
Saturday Meeting - ImagineRIT Prep, Payload Work
For Saturday, unfortunately our usual meeting spot is unavailable. Therefore we'll be meeting in 08-2365 at 11amThis is still in Gosnell on the second floor.
Agenda for Saturday
  • Project Updates(Tether, MemTest, ADCS, SPEXcast, Astro, HAB)
  • ImagineRIT Prep- Led by Phil & Amber
  • Work on Payloads for Imagine
Imagine is in 38 days! You all should have received an email like this
Inline image 1
which means you have been added to the SPEX Imagine Exhibit. You need to click through and fill in/confirm all of your information in order to be registered. If you have not received an email and registered for Imagine, message Helen to make sure you get added. Registration closes THIS FRIDAY!

SPEX has been invited to present at the biweekly AstroLunch presented by RIT Astrophysics. We'll be presenting all of the cool things SPEX has done over the past year. The event will be Wednesday April 20th at noon, room 76-1275.

Astronomy Week
SPEX is also working with the greater RIT space community for Astronomy Week. Running April 11th-15th, SPEX will be holding a Star Party Thursday night with the telescopes used for Astrodynamics. We'll also be hosting a Kerbal Space Program Multiplayer event on Friday. There will be additional events that week hosted by other space clubs on campus.
Cubesat Devkit
Dr. Patru's grad assistant has finished setting up the devkit. If you are interested in going hands-on with our cubesat devkit email me or talk to me Saturday. Also we are looking for faculty experienced with embedded systems and/or Real Time Operating Systems(RTOS) who may advise us as we get more experience with the hardware. If you have any suggestions or 
We released Episode 6 today talking all about interplanetary travel and the challenges human spaceflight presents. You can pick up the latest episode on iTunes or your podcasting app of choice or directly download it.
We'll also be doing a live recording during ImagineRIT! Stay tuned for more info.
I apologize for the massive information dump but this  pretty much covers it for the rest of the semester. Hope to see you all Saturday.
Hey all, I hope midterms are going well!


TJ-Student Director
PJ-Deputy Director
The response data will be going online once the PID is out

No All Hands This Weekend-Enjoy Spring Break

However, if you are interested in doing a Kerbal Space Program night (only need to bring a snack) on Friday or Saturday, email by Thursday night 8:00pm

Hello Everyone,

Over the past couple weeks, TJ, Augie, and I have been working on a podcast called SPEXcast.
SPEXcast is a weekly podcast all about space. We cover space engineering, space science, and astrodynamics topics. We're hoping to make this into a great outreach tool for SPEX, and to cover some of the amazing projects we're working on in future episodes.
We had our official launch yesterday with our first three episodes. Now we're looking for feedback from all of SPEX. We're all new to podcasting and we want to learn and improve as much as possible. We've made a feedback form to make it easy. You can find us on iTunes, and an up to date list of all of our episodes on our wiki page.

Leadership Review

All Hands Meeting 08-A300 1100 Saturday

  • Both payload groups need to do a 15 minute update where they can walk through their wiki, what they've defined, what they've figured out and what they plan on doing for ImagineRIT.

Saturday Meeting 08-A300 1100

This week two groups will be presenting and it will be the first week with new leadership!

Group Presentations ADCS


  • Complete research, concept design, problem definition
  • Start prototype building, concept testing
  • Prepare for week 7 mini update 


  1. HAB Presentation
  2. ADCS Presentation
  3. Break into workgroups

What was moved?

What is the SPEX Internal Branch?

SPEX Internal is a portion of the wiki that is only able to be viewed by SPEX members. It works in exactly the same way as the rest of the wiki. Keep in mind that all child pages of SPEX Internal are also only viewable if you are logged in and added to our member list.

Why were these projects moved?

As we start developing our own technology and research, it is important to be secure with our work-in-progress content, plans, and technology. The public branch (which is viewable to anyone) should be where teams show off their finished works, deliverables, and other things in "Beta." This keeps things organize, makes the Wiki look a lot more professional, and lets us share information while having the security knowing it will stay inside the group.

What should be public/private?

Rule of Thumb: If you're not comfortable showing it at ImagineRIT or to a potential sponsor, it shouldn't be on the public branch.

BylawsEmail lists
BlogWIP Documents
Outreach & PhotosWIP Designs
Deliverables & Project PapersWIP Anything

Help! I can't see the internal pages!

  1. Log in to the wiki using your RIT computer account username and password and try again.
  2. If you still can't see it, send your RIT username in an email to Philip Linden or message @phil.linden in #wiki at

I have a question that's not answered here!

Comment on this blog post, send an email to Philip Linden or message @phil.linden in #wiki at (Slack will get you the quickest response)


Please sign up for projects on the team wiki and remember our meeting is moving back an hour to 11am to better support payload teams!
Sign in to the wiki and add your name and to the team roster for one of the two projects below:
Also, please sign up for leadership opportunities if you want to do it!

Fill out this application to apply for the following leadership roles:

  • Director, 
  • Deputy Director, 
  • HR, Education, 
  • Finance/Development and 
  • Outreach Positions as well as
  • Project Management Positions