Space Flight Institute uses drag sail technology to out-orbit CanX-7 small satellites – SatNews

Space Flight Research Institute (SFL) announced that it has succeeded in leaving the orbit of 3.5 kg. CanX-7 Demonstration of a small satellite using drag sail technology designed to reduce the time that a retired small satellite spends in orbit as space debris.

The CanX-7 burned out in the Earth’s atmosphere in May, just five years after the deployment of the force sail, and about 178 years before the satellites were in orbit without out-of-orbit technology.

The CanX-7 was a small 10x10x34 cm satellite manufactured and funded by SFL. Defense Research and Development Canada, Natural Science Engineering Research Council, COM DEV Ltd.. , And that Canadian Space Agency.. The satellite was launched in September 2016 and demonstrated in two missions. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast ((((ADS-B) Collecting messages from space for situational awareness of world aircraft, and testing out-of-orbit techniques developed by SFL.

SFL deployed four drag sails (each with an area of ​​approximately 1 square meter) on May 4, 2017, with the aim of reducing the ballistic coefficient of nanosatellite and accelerating orbital decay using atmospheric drag. Mission participants observed near-immediate changes in altitude decay and continued to track orbital decay until CanX-7 re-entered the atmosphere on April 21, 2022.

“”Developed for nanosatellite and microsatellite, the SFL drag sail technology is one of the only commercially viable orbital departure devices available today, except for propulsion.“SFL Director Dr. Robert E. Gee.. “”The drag sail outperformed the design and went out of orbit of the CanX-7 in a much shorter time than the goal of up to 25 years recommended by the Interengine Space Fragment Coordinating Committee (IADC)... “

“”Space debris is a major concern for the space industry, and CanX-7-proven passive debris technology is a lucrative solution for nanosatellites and microsatellites.“SFL’s CanX-7 mission manager said. Blood Kotten.. “”The mission confirmed that SFL’s lightweight resistance sail technology is a more cost-effective and less complex way to get a small satellite out of orbit than traditional propulsion technology... In addition, orbital departure technology allows small satellites to be launched into a wider range of orbits than if they depended on natural orbital decay.

According to the doctor Rouch ScottThe CanX-7 Drugsail Deployment Campaign, a defense scientist at Defense Research and Development Canada, has a very rare opportunity to observe significant changes in satellite shape and size while being tracked by a ground telescope. Provided. This view shows the characteristics of the brightness of nanosatellite during sail deployment and how its rotational motion evolved during long-term space sustainability out-of-orbit experiments. rice field. Dr. Scott added that this is an excellent Canadian cooperation that helps mitigate the risk from space debris.

According to the doctor Blood WallaceThe project, a defense scientist at Defense Research and Development Canada, proves that UTIAS / SFL’s innovative drug sail technology goes out of orbit of spacecraft decades earlier than other methods, only space technology. It has demonstrated Canada’s continued leadership, not even in responsible space. Stewardship. The lesson he learned from the CanX-7 mission is that space will continue to be used to minimize the number of inoperable spacecraft orbiting the Earth and benefit Canadians and people around the world. Added that it will be used to guarantee.

SFL is a unique microspace provider offering a complete suite of smallsats that meet the needs of a wide range of mission types from 3 to 500 kilograms. The SFL’s legacy dating back to 1998 includes 61 operational successes and 31 successes currently under construction or awaiting launch. These missions relate to Earth Observation (EO), atmospheric monitoring, ship tracking, communications, radio frequency (RF) geolocation, technology demonstrations, space astronomy, solar physics, space plasma, and other scientific research. .. In its 24-year history, SFL has achieved cumulative operation for over 194 years in orbit. These microspace missions include SFL’s reliable attitude control and, in some cases, formation flight capabilities. Other core components developed by SFL include modular (scalable) power systems, onboard radios, flight computers, and control software.

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