Date of Award

Spring 2022

Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Daewon Kim

Committee Co-Chair

Richard Prazenica

Committee Advisor

Troy Henderson

First Committee Member

Richard Prazenica

Second Committee Member

Morad Nazari


EagleCam is a pico-satellite (CubeSat) with dimensions of 100 x 100 x 150 mm3 that is going to the moon as a payload of the Intuitive Machines Nova-C lunar lander. The CubeSat’s purpose is to record the lunar landing from a 3rd person view. Unlike other CubeSats, EagleCam is designed to impact the lunar surface and there is no history to build off of. Specifically, EagleCam will need to survive a 30 m drop onto the lunar surface with all internal components fully operational post impact. This thesis is focused on the analytical, numerical, and experimental methods for determining the survivability of EagleCam. The analyses performed are kinematic shock analysis, vibration analysis, NASTRAN simulation, LS-DYNA simulation and a full scale drop test. The outcomes from this work are that the structure of EagleCam will survive the impact given that the shock isolation system chosen will mitigate some of the shock without exciting any of the CubeSat’s natural frequencies. Additionally, the LS-Dyna work shows that MAT147 is the preferred material for lunar regolith simulations and leaves some room for this work to grow. This work is the foundation for future landing missions and the engineering community to build from. Hopefully, this work can fuel future engineers to develop an understanding of impact simulation and be the seed that sprouts many comparable projects.