Student Onboarding

Welcome to ABEX! We’re glad you’re here. As part of this workforce development program, you will learn spacecraft engineering, systems engineering, material for your specific subsystem team, and everything in between. Here’s what you need to know:
  1. You need to download your subsystem onboarding package. Each package will have a readme document detailing what’s inside the package, but it is imperative that you know what is in your package and understand how the material is connected. If you don’t have a specific subsystem yet, download the general onboarding package.
  2. You need to join the ABEX Slack workspace. Your faculty or technical advisor can provide your email to program management to get you included.
  3. You need to start reading your subsystem material. At minimum, everyone needs to have read through their subsystem’s chapter of the Small Satellite State-of-the-Art report. If your subsystem has one available, the subsystem Development & Integration Plan (DIP) is the next important document.
Onboarding Materials

Download your general onboarding package that includes all the files to start your ABEX journey!

Subsystem Teams

Explore all the teams that make up the ABEX program and learn more about what your time with ABEX will entail.

The Mission

Come learn more about what we're trying to accomplish and what our spacecraft is doing!

What is ABEX?

The Alabama Burst Energetics eXplorer (ABEX) is a 12U CubeSat to study Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs). The payload onboard ABEX is a suite of wide-field X-ray and gamma-ray detectors which will observe the prompt X-ray emission in GRBs to better understand their energy dissipation through observations of a new energy domain. The project is led by a consortium group of universities across the state of Alabama partnered with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The payload and spacecraft are a union of commercial and in-house systems developed by the university teams with flight qualification testing provided by GSFC. The mission has been proposed to APRA 2021 with 4-years of development and 1-year of orbit operations.

Who is Involved in the ABEX Program?

ABEX features design and analysis teams at Auburn University, the University of Alabama, the University of South Alabama, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama A&M University, and J. F. Drake State Technical & Community College. Collaboration is essential to everything ABEX does, and we work hard to ensure new members understand what they need from other teams and who to contact to get it.

Institution ABEX Team Scope of Work
University of Alabama in Huntsville Management Management of the project
System Engineering Development of systems model. Management of system engineering products, interface control, and technical advisement.
Science Science mission and data product generation. Development of science requirements. Advisement of the payload design for science return. Manages the instruments during operations.
Payload (PAY) Design, analysis, and assembly of the instrument suite.
Operations (OPS) Management of the Spacecraft during operations.
Integration, Assembly, & Testing (IA&T) Leads the system-level integration and testing. Coordinates assembly tasks.
University of Alabama Electrical power System (EPS) Design, analysis, and assembly of the EPS.
Command & Data Handling (C&DH) Design, analysis, and assembly of the OBC, SDR, and AIB.
Universtiy of South Alabama Telemetry, tracking, & Command (TT&C) Design, analysis, and assembly of the X/S-band antenna.
Guidance, Navigation, & Control (GN&C) Selection and analysis of GN&C system. Provides design input on the attitude control elements of the software.
Auburn University Flight Software (FSW) Flight software development and maintenance during the mission.
Structures & Mechanisms (S&M) Design and analysis of the structural elements and configuration of the spacecraft assembly.
Thermal Control (TRM) Design of the thermal systems and thermal analysis of the spacecraft assembly.
Astrodynamics (AST) Orbital analysis during mission design and operations.
Alabama A&M University Working directly under UAH teams Design support and outreach.
Drake State Technical & Community College Working directly with IA&T team at UAH Spacecraft flight assembly and supplying the cleanroom.
Goddard Space Flight Center Flight Qualification System level flight qualification testing.
What do we do in ABEX?

ABEX offers the opportunity to work in mission planning, architecting, design, analysis, testing, and everything in between. What your team will accomplish is dependent on when you join; not every team will do analysis, and not every team will do testing. Every team member learns spacecraft engineering, systems engineering, and subsystem-specific analysis methodologies, and everyone presents their work to Subject Matter Experts from NASA, JPL, and the ABEX Industry Collaboration Board. You'll learn advanced collaboration techniques used in industry and have access to cutting-edge tools. Most importantly, you'll grow as an engineer through hands-on study of a real spacecraft project.