Session

Session IV: Recent and Future Missions

SSC09-IV-7.pdf (885 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Delfi-C3 is a three-unit CubeSat launched on April 28th 2008 and has been designed, developed and operated by students of the Delft University of Technology and several Engineering Colleges in the Netherlands. Preliminary results of the Thin Film Solar Cell and Autonomous Wireless Sun Sensor payloads are shown and discussed, as well as the experiences with a third on-board experiment: a transponder for the radio amateur community.In the first three months of operations Delfi-C3 has collected 53,000 high quality current-voltage curves of the solar cells (1.3% of the maximum possible) and has performed some 3,500 attitude measurements with the Sun sensor. These data have been collected by a worldwide network of radio amateurs, and have been sent to Delft for further processing. The relatively low yield is caused by a combination of a non-uniform distribution of radio amateurs over the Earth’s surface and a design flaw in the Command and Data Handling Subsystem that caused unwarranted recovery actions by the computer watchdog function. The performance of the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem and the Ground System is shortly discussed as far as they have had an impact on the quantity and quality of the payload data.Although the mission results are satisfactory, not everything went as foreseen. Some design errors and project management shortcomings became evident prior and during operations. Recovery actions are outlined and lessons learned discussed. Special attention will be paid to the specific constraints related to developing and operating a satellite in an academic environment.Delfi-C3 is functioning well, and has entered its second period of scientific data collection after having completed a first three-month period in Science Mode and some three months in Transponder Mode.

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Aug 11th, 12:15 PM

Delfi-C3 Preliminary Mission Results

Delfi-C3 is a three-unit CubeSat launched on April 28th 2008 and has been designed, developed and operated by students of the Delft University of Technology and several Engineering Colleges in the Netherlands. Preliminary results of the Thin Film Solar Cell and Autonomous Wireless Sun Sensor payloads are shown and discussed, as well as the experiences with a third on-board experiment: a transponder for the radio amateur community.In the first three months of operations Delfi-C3 has collected 53,000 high quality current-voltage curves of the solar cells (1.3% of the maximum possible) and has performed some 3,500 attitude measurements with the Sun sensor. These data have been collected by a worldwide network of radio amateurs, and have been sent to Delft for further processing. The relatively low yield is caused by a combination of a non-uniform distribution of radio amateurs over the Earth’s surface and a design flaw in the Command and Data Handling Subsystem that caused unwarranted recovery actions by the computer watchdog function. The performance of the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem and the Ground System is shortly discussed as far as they have had an impact on the quantity and quality of the payload data.Although the mission results are satisfactory, not everything went as foreseen. Some design errors and project management shortcomings became evident prior and during operations. Recovery actions are outlined and lessons learned discussed. Special attention will be paid to the specific constraints related to developing and operating a satellite in an academic environment.Delfi-C3 is functioning well, and has entered its second period of scientific data collection after having completed a first three-month period in Science Mode and some three months in Transponder Mode.