Session

Technical Session XI: Around the Corner

SSC13-XI-9.pdf (5191 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

With an increasing number of single- and multi-small spacecraft missions, the need for environmental stewardship in space has never been more critical. As the 25-year deorbiting recommendations of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) are adopted globally, there will be increased pressure on operators of both single-satellite and especially constellation missions to be able to deorbit their spacecraft in a cost-effective, expeditious way. Meeting the challenge of deorbiting satellites at end-of-life is particularly complicated by the fact that satellites cannot be relied upon to operate properly under such circumstances. Thus, the need for a simple, independent, and effective deorbiting technology—that does not itself increase risks to other low-Earth orbit spacecraft—is a problem of mortal significance for the small satellite community. This paper discusses the CanX-7 technology demonstration mission, with a focus on the extensibility of its drag sail payload to micro- and nanosatellite constellations. The paper is divided into two parts. First, a general overview of the deorbiting problem is presented, and so-called “killer trades” associated with a variety of deorbiting approaches are discussed. A model is then presented that enables system designers to quickly choose the right deorbiting technology for a given spacecraft or constellation mission. The second part of this paper describes the CanX-7 deorbiting demonstrator. Expected to launch in 2014, CanX-7 will deploy a simple, modular, redundant, and adaptable drag sail technology for removing spacecraft from low Earth orbits at end-of-life. This technology, once demonstrated on orbit, can then be adapted to other LEO spacecraft to enable simple maintenance and EOL disposal in a simple and cost-effective way.

Share

COinS
 
Aug 15th, 12:29 PM

The CanX-7 Drag Sail Demonstration Mission: Enabling Environmental Stewardship for Nano- and Microsatellites

With an increasing number of single- and multi-small spacecraft missions, the need for environmental stewardship in space has never been more critical. As the 25-year deorbiting recommendations of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) are adopted globally, there will be increased pressure on operators of both single-satellite and especially constellation missions to be able to deorbit their spacecraft in a cost-effective, expeditious way. Meeting the challenge of deorbiting satellites at end-of-life is particularly complicated by the fact that satellites cannot be relied upon to operate properly under such circumstances. Thus, the need for a simple, independent, and effective deorbiting technology—that does not itself increase risks to other low-Earth orbit spacecraft—is a problem of mortal significance for the small satellite community. This paper discusses the CanX-7 technology demonstration mission, with a focus on the extensibility of its drag sail payload to micro- and nanosatellite constellations. The paper is divided into two parts. First, a general overview of the deorbiting problem is presented, and so-called “killer trades” associated with a variety of deorbiting approaches are discussed. A model is then presented that enables system designers to quickly choose the right deorbiting technology for a given spacecraft or constellation mission. The second part of this paper describes the CanX-7 deorbiting demonstrator. Expected to launch in 2014, CanX-7 will deploy a simple, modular, redundant, and adaptable drag sail technology for removing spacecraft from low Earth orbits at end-of-life. This technology, once demonstrated on orbit, can then be adapted to other LEO spacecraft to enable simple maintenance and EOL disposal in a simple and cost-effective way.