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InflateSail De-Orbit Flight Demonstration – Observed Re-Entry Attitude and Orbit Dynamics

Underwood, Craig, Viquerat, Andrew, Steyn, Herman, Taylor, Ben, Duke, Richard, Stewart, Brian, Bridges, Chris, Masutti, Davide and Denis, Amandine (2019) InflateSail De-Orbit Flight Demonstration – Observed Re-Entry Attitude and Orbit Dynamics In: 12th IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation, 06-10 May 2019, BBAW, Jägerstraße 22/23, 10117 Berlin.

InflateSail De-Orbit Flight Demonstration.pdf - Accepted version Manuscript

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The InflateSail (QB50-UK06) CubeSat, designed and built at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) for the Von Karman Institute (VKI), Belgium, was a technology demonstrator built under the European Commission’s QB50 programme. The 3.2 kilogram 3U CubeSat was equipped with a 1 metre long inflatable mast and a 10m2 deployable drag sail and was one of 31 satellites that were launched simultaneously on the PSLV (polar satellite launch vehicle) C-38 from Sriharikota, India on 23rd June 2017 into a 505km, 97.44o Sun-synchronous orbit. Shortly after insertion into orbit, InflateSail automatically activated its drag-sail payload, and, as planned, began to lose altitude, causing it to re-enter the atmosphere just 72 days later – successfully demonstrating for the first time the de-orbiting of a spacecraft using European inflatable and drag-sail technologies. This paper discusses the dynamics we observed during the descent, including the sensitivity of the craft to atmospheric density changes. The InflateSail project was funded by two European Commission Framework Program Seven (FP7) projects: DEPLOYTECH and QB50. QB50 was a programme, led by VKI, for launching a network of 50 CubeSats built mainly by university teams all over the world to perform first-class science in the largely unexplored lower thermosphere.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Steyn, Herman
Masutti, Davide
Denis, Amandine
Date : 2019
Funders : European Commission 7th Framework Programme
Grant Title : DEPLOYTECH
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 The Authors.
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 25 Sep 2019 12:56
Last Modified : 25 Sep 2019 12:56

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