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CubeSail

CubeSail [UoI]

CubeSail is a cubesat mission for upper atmospheric research designed and built by the department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The CubeSail mission is a low-cost demonstration of the UltraSail solar sailing concept, using two near-identical 1.5U CubeSat satellites to deploy a 260 m-long, 20 m2 reflecting film. The two satellites are launched as a unit, detumbled, and separated, with the film unwinding symmetrically from motorized reels. The conformity to the CubeSat specification allows for reduction in launch costs as a secondary payload and utilization of the University of Illinois-developed spacecraft bus.

The CubeSail demonstration is the first in a series of increasingly-complex missions aimed at validating several spacecraft subsystems, including attitude determination and control, the separation release unit, reel-based film deployment, as well as the dynamical behavior of the sail and on-orbit solar propulsion.

It was selected in 2012 by NASA to be launched as part of the ELaNa program.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Aerospace Engineering
Contractors: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Aerospace Engineering
Equipment:
Configuration: CubeSat (1.5U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass:
Orbit:
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CubeSail 1 - 2017 OnS LC-1 Electron with ANDESITE, CeREs, CHOMPTT, Da Vinci, ISX, NMTSat, RSat-P, Shields 1, STF 1, CubeSail 2, GeoStare, TOMSat Eagle Scout, TOMSat R3, SHFT 1
CubeSail 2 - 2017 OnS LC-1 Electron with ANDESITE, CeREs, CHOMPTT, Da Vinci, ISX, NMTSat, RSat-P, Shields 1, STF 1, CubeSail 1, GeoStare, TOMSat Eagle Scout, TOMSat R3, SHFT 1