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DeOrbitSail (DOS)

DeOrbitSail [Surrey Space Centre]

The DeOrbitSail is a project to build a 3U CubeSat sized satellite with a deployable sail that will demonstrate rapid deorbiting.

The DeOrbitSail project is a cooperation between Surrey Space Centre (UK), Caltech (USA), DLR (Germany), EADS Astrium (France), Stellenbosch University (South Africa), University of Patras (Greece), Athena-SPU (Greece), Middle-Eastern Technical University (Turkey), Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) (UK), ISIS (Netherlands).

The deorbiting capability of the DeOrbitSail satellite is due to increased aerodynamic drag from the large surface area of the deployed sail in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

DeOrbitSail will deploy a 4-by-4-meter, four-quadrant sail to demonstrate deorbiting. The spacecraft will be based on a 3 unit (3U) CubeSat standard structure, with dimensions close to 10 by 10 by 34 cm. DeOrbitSail features power, communications, attitude control and data handling components in addition to its densely packed sail and deployment system. The sail will be able to change the satellite’s orbit through drag and solar radiation pressure.

The satellite was successfully put into orbit, but failed to deploy the sail. based on the initial investigation, the most plausible hypothesis and justification seems to be a physical disconnection of the motor cables.

Nation: UK
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Surrey Space Centre, Caltech, DLR, EADS Astrium, Stellenbosch University, University of Patras, Athena-SPU, Middle-Eastern Technical University, SSTL, ISIS
Contractors: Surrey Space Centre
Equipment: Drag sail
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 3 kg
Orbit: 635 km × 657 km, 98.05°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
DeOrbitSail (DOS) 2015-032E 10.07.2015 Sr FLP PSLV-XL with DMC-3 1, DMC-3 2, DMC-3 3, Carbonite 1