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WaferSat Battery Testing in T/Vac




16: Aeronautics and Astronautics

Faculty Supervisor:

Rebecca Masterson

Faculty email:


Apply by:



Michael Fifield: mfifield@mit.edu

Project Description

The Space Systems Laboratory, in collaboration with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, is developing the next generation of small satellites that consist of single silicon wafers. At only 100 grams in mass, WaferSat can enable low cost, low touch-labor, scalable constellations. Due to the small size and flat form factor, WaferSat will utilize thin film batteries, not previously flown in space. The team is seeking an on-campus senior undergraduate student to perform charge/discharge cycling in a thermal vacuum chamber to evaluate battery performance in the simulated extreme environments that WaferSat will encounter in low Earth orbit. The goal of the UROP is to test and analyze the results of several candidate batteries for charge/discharge behavior, effective capacity, effective cell voltage at extreme temperatures under vacuum. Results will be used to recommend a design baseline battery for flight.


For conducting the testing and on-campus student this Fall semester is preferred along with experience with circuit breadboarding. However, a remote UROP is possible and would include data reduction and analysis only.