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This paper summarizes the thermal math model correlation effort for the Fast Affordable Science and Technology SATellite (FASTSAT-HSV01), which was designed, built and tested by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and multiple partners. The satellite launched in November 2010 on a Minotaur IV rocket from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Kodiak, Alaska. It carried three Earth science experiments and two technology demonstrations into a low Earth circular orbit with an inclination of 72° and an altitude of 650 kilometers. The mission has been successful to date with science experiment activities still taking place daily. The thermal control system on this spacecraft was a passive design relying on thermo-optical properties and six heaters placed on specific components. Flight temperature data is being recorded every minute from the 48 Resistance Temperature Devices (RTDs) onboard the satellite structure and many of its avionics boxes. An effort has been made to correlate the thermal math model to the flight temperature data using Cullimore and Ring's Thermal Desktop and by obtaining Earth and Sun vector data from the Attitude Control System (ACS) team to create an “as-flown” orbit. Several model parameters were studied during this task to understand the spacecraft's sensitivity to these changes. Many “lessons learned” have been noted from this activity that will be directly applicable to future small satellite programs.

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Callie McKelvey