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Flight Results of the InflateSail Spacecraft and Future Applications of Drag Sails

Taylor, Benjamin, Underwood, Craig, Viquerat, Andrew, Fellowes, Simon, Duke, Richard, Stewart, Brian, Aglietti, Guglielmo, Bridges, Christopher, Schenk, M, Massimiani, Chiara , Masutti, D and Denis, A (2018) Flight Results of the InflateSail Spacecraft and Future Applications of Drag Sails In: 32nd Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, 4 - 9 August 2018, Logan, UT, USA.

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The InflateSail CubeSat, designed and built at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) at the University of Surrey, UK, for the Von Karman Institute (VKI), Belgium, is one of the technology demonstrators for the QB50 programme. The 3.2 kilogram InflateSail is “3U” in size and is equipped with a 1 metre long inflatable boom and a 10 square metre deployable drag sail. InflateSail's primary goal is to demonstrate the effectiveness of using a drag sail in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to dramatically increase the rate at which satellites lose altitude and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. InflateSail was launched on Friday 23rd June 2017 into a 505km Sun-synchronous orbit. Shortly after the satellite was inserted into its orbit, the satellite booted up and automatically started its successful deployment sequence and quickly started its decent. The spacecraft exhibited varying dynamic modes, capturing in-situ attitude data throughout the mission lifetime. The InflateSail spacecraft re-entered 72 days after launch. This paper describes the spacecraft and payload, and analyses the effect of payload deployment on its orbital trajectory. The boom/drag-sail technology developed by SSC will next be used on the RemoveDebris mission, which will demonstrate the applicability of the system to microsat deorbiting.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Schenk, M
Masutti, D
Denis, A
Date : 2018
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 21 Sep 2018 11:49
Last Modified : 21 Sep 2018 11:49

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