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Pegasus (QB50 AT03)

Pegasus [FWN]

Pegasus is an Austrian 2U-CubeSat designed by the Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt participating in the QB50 project.

Pegasus is equipped with the multi-needle Langmuir probes (mNLP) for the QB50 project and will provide information about essential properties of the plasma in the thermosphere such as the electron temperature and –density. It also includes an attitude control system, an on-board computer, telecommunication devices, an electrical power systems allowing to harvest the solar power and either distribute or store it for later use, a thermal control system.

In addition to the above, Pegasus will also feature a propulsion system which, if successful, would be the first time to use such a system on a nanosatellite. It features a Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) as propulsion unit. The propulsion unit consists of four miniaturized PPTs, so called µPPTs. All four of them are assembled on one Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and can be individually fired. The unit has a typical total power requirement of < 2.5 W with an 1 Hz discharge frequency and weights 294 g. The system of four µPPTs can deliver a total Δv of roughly 5.5 m/s for Pegasus.

The QB50 project, which will demonstrate the possibility of launching a network of 50 CubeSats built by Universities Teams all over the world as a primary payload on a low-cost launch vehicle to perform first-class science in the largely unexplored lower thermosphere.

The satellite is one of six QB50 science satellites, which were to be launched on a Dnepr rocket on the QB50-DS flight. As the availability of Dnepr has become doubtful, they were transfered to an Indian PSLV-XL launch.

Nation: Austria
Type / Application: Technology, thermospheric research
Operator: Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt
Contractors: Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt
Equipment: mNLP
Configuration: CubeSat (2U)
Propulsion: 4 µPPTs
Power: Solar cells batteries
Lifetime: 3 months
Mass: 2 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Pegasus (QB50 AT03) - 2017 Sr FLP PSLV-XL with EMIsat ?, SPaDEx ?, CE-SAT 1, Max Valier Sat, Venta 1, Blue Diamond, Green Diamond, Red Diamond, PicSat, COMPASS 2, InflateSail, LituanicaSAT 2, URSA MAIOR, NUDTSat, UCLSat, VZLUsat 1, Aalto 1, ROBUSTA 1B, ?