Customer Success Stories

Preparing for Lift Off with Aachen University and Altium

RWTC Aachen University selected Altium Designer as the perfect fit for their satellite design requirements. Using Altium Designer, students designed precise, space-ready board layouts while mastering the world’s leading PCB software tool.

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, also known as RWTC Aachen University, is the largest technical university in Germany, with over 45,000 students enrolled in 144 study programs.

Students at the Astronautical Department at RWTC Aachen University (AcUAS) faced a unique challenge to develop a space-ready satellite that can survive the harshness of space and a return into earth’s atmosphere, at the lowest possible development cost.

This project gave students a unique opportunity to gain direct, hands-on experience in the spacecraft engineering discipline, learning valuable management and technical skills as they juggled the responsibilities of mechanical, electrical and systems engineering and the complexities of project management.

RWTC Aachen University selected Altium Designer as the perfect fit for their satellite design requirements. Using Altium Designer, students designed precise, space-ready board layouts while mastering the world’s leading PCB software tool.

Using Altium Designer, students at AcUAS successfully moved through the design, prototyping, and production process with ease. Students completed their satellite design both on-time and on-budget, all while taking advantage of the tool’s advanced electronic design features.

Solving the Most Diverse Design Challenges

The development of the innovative satellite system, named COMPASS-1, came with a strict set of design restrictions. Students had to meet requirements as defined by the international CubeSat standards, including shape and weight restrictions as well as using only commercial, off-the-shelf components while controlling production costs.

Juggling these requirements demanded a unique set of design solutions throughout every aspect of the design process.

The unified design environment in Altium Designer provided students with a needed collaborative workflow process, all within a single application. Changes were easily made to the satellite’s electronics in Altium Designer based on detailed test results from the prototyping phase. These changes were then easily synced across the entire project, from schematic to board layout.

The unified design environment in Altium Designer provided students with a needed collaborative workflow process, all within a single application.

T-Minus Zero

Using Altium Designer, students at AcUAS successfully moved through the design, prototyping, and production process with ease. Students completed their satellite design both on-time and on-budget, all while taking advantage of the tool’s advanced electronic design features.

Students were also able to meet their targeted development costs by utilizing the real-time supplier links in Altium Designer. With real-time pricing and availability information immediately available, they selected the lowest priced components to meet budgets while ensuring they would be available for fabrication.