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Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 1736-7530 (electronic)   ISSN 1736-6046 (print)
Formerly: Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, series Physics & Mathematics and  Chemistry
Published since 1952

Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 1736-7530 (electronic)   ISSN 1736-6046 (print)
Formerly: Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, series Physics & Mathematics and  Chemistry
Published since 1952
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ESTCube-1 nanosatellite for electric solar wind sail in-orbit technology demonstration; pp. 200–209

(Full article in PDF format) doi: 10.3176/proc.2014.2S.01


Authors

Silver Lätt, Andris Slavinskis, Erik Ilbis, Urmas Kvell, Kaupo Voormansik, Erik Kulu, Mihkel Pajusalu, Henri Kuuste, Indrek Sünter, Tõnis Eenmäe, Kaspars Laizans, Karlis Zalite, Riho Vendt, Johannes Piepenbrock, Ilmar Ansko, Ahto Leitu, Andres Vahter, Ants Agu, Elo Eilonen, Endel Soolo, Hendrik Ehrpais, Henri Lillmaa, Ivar Mahhonin, Jaak Mõttus, Jaan Viru, Jaanus Kalde, Jana Šubitidze, Jānis Mucenieks, Jānis Šate, Johan Kütt, Juris Poļevskis, Jürgen Laks, Kadi Kivistik, Kadri-Liis Kusmin, Kalle-Gustav Kruus, Karl Tarbe, Katrin Tuude, Katrīna Kalniņa, Laur Joost, Marko Lõoke, Markus Järve, Mart Vellak, Martin Neerot, Martin Valgur, Martynas Pelakauskas, Matis Averin, Mats Mikkor, Mihkel Veske, Ott Scheler, Paul Liias, Priit Laes, Ramon Rantsus, Reimo Soosaar, Risto Reinumägi, Robert Valner, Siim Kurvits, Sven-Erik Mändmaa, Taavi Ilves, Tanel Peet, Tavo Ani, Teet Tilk, Timothy Henry Charles Tamm, Tobias Scheffler, Toomas Vahter, Tõnis Uiboupin, Veigo Evard, Andreas Sisask, Lauri Kimmel, Olaf Krömer, Roland Rosta, Pekka Janhunen, Jouni Envall, Petri Toivanen, Timo Rauhala, Henri Seppänen, Jukka Ukkonen, Edward Haeggström, Risto Kurppa, Taneli Kalvas, Olli Tarvainen, Janne Kauppinen, Antti Nuottajärvi, Hannu Koivisto, Sergiy Kiprich, Alexander Obraztsov, Viljo Allik, Anu Reinart, Mart Noorma

Abstract

This paper presents the mission analysis, requirements, system design, system level test results, as well as mass and power budgets of a 1-unit CubeSat ESTCube-1 built to perform the first in-orbit demonstration of electric solar wind sail (E-sail) technology. The E-sail is a propellantless propulsion system concept that uses thin charged electrostatic tethers for turning the momentum flux of a natural plasma stream, such as the solar wind, into spacecraft propulsion. ESTCube-1 will deploy and charge a 10 m long tether and measure changes in the satellite spin rate. These changes result from the Coulomb drag interaction with the ionospheric plasma that is moving with respect to the satellite due to the orbital motion of the satellite. The following subsystems have been developed to perform and to support the E-sail experiment: a tether deployment subsystem based on a piezoelectric motor; an attitude determination and control subsystem to provide the centrifugal force for tether deployment, which uses electromagnetic coils to spin up the satellite to one revolution per second with controlled spin axis alignment; an imaging subsystem to verify tether deployment, which is based on a 640 ´ 480 pixel resolution digital image sensor; an electron gun to keep the tether at a high positive potential; a high voltage source to charge the tether; a command and data handling subsystem; and an electrical power subsystem with high levels of redundancy and fault tolerance to mitigate the risk of mission failure.

Keywords

ESTCube-1, nanosatellite, CubeSat, satellite design, electric solar wind sail, E-sail, plasma brake.

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Current Issue: Vol. 66, Issue 3 in Press, 2017




Publishing schedule:
No. 1: 20 March
No. 2: 20 June
No. 3: 20 September
No. 4: 20 December