In this Section
↩ Return Home
↩ Return to Resources
This page explains what CubeSat burn wires are, some common methods and materials to implement them, and then how to use the PyCubed burn wire circuits and helper function.
<aside> ⚠️ If you don't read anything else on this page, read →THIS.←
The concept of a burn wire (as a deployment mechanism) is simple:
Tie a deployable down with fishing line using a loop of nichrome wire as the tie-off location on the spacecraft. When it's time to deploy, heat the nichrome wire → melt the fishing line → deploy the panel/antenna/etc..
PyCubed mainboard has two independent burn wire circuits:
each burn wire can be controlled independently
designed with radiation resilient components
fault tolerant & protected by dual interlocks
(see usage tutorial below for more details on fault handling)
See the mainboard schematic for specific details on the burn wire circuits and their respective component choices
Nichrome wire is commonly used as a heating element (in many applications) since it has a high melting point and low oxidation rate. The PyCubed burn wire scheme is designed to use a piece of nichrome wire (or other resistive heating element) to complete the circuit between the burn wire output (
BURN2) and ground.