Developing a Power Modelling Tool for CubeSats

Tom Etchells*, Lucy Berthoud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

97 Downloads (Pure)


This paper details the development of a MATLAB and GMAT based power modelling tool for analyzing CubeSat solar power generation. The power model is designed to allow satellite orbit customization, along with a range of attitudes and solar panel configurations, including deployable panels. A graphical user interface was developed to facilitate this customization, with real time representations of both the attitude and geometry being defined by the user. Direct user input to the model can also be used for more complex attitudes or solar panel configurations.

The model has been successfully validated against Thales Alenia Space's “Power Sim” power modelling tool. Future work will include further validation against AGI STK’s Solar Panel tool and against real data from CubeSats, or other simple satellites. It is hoped that this freely available tool, hosted on GitHub (https:/, will prove useful and timesaving for new CubeSat developers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2019
EventAnnual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites - Logan, Utah, United States, Logan, United States
Duration: 3 Aug 20198 Aug 2019
Conference number: 33


ConferenceAnnual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites
Abbreviated titleSSC 2019
CountryUnited States


  • CubeSat
  • Power Model

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Developing a Power Modelling Tool for CubeSats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this