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Saudisat 4

Saudisat 4 [KACST]

SaudiSat 4 is a Saudi-Arabian technology demonstration satellite developed by the KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology).

SaudiSat 4 features a joint NASA Ames and KACST experiment for the control of charge build-up on free-floating test masses critical to the operation of gravitational reference sensors (GRS) on drag-free spacecraft. Essentially, the GRS is an extremely accurate accelerometer that allows its host spacecraft to fly in an orbit defined solely by gravity, and not be affected by solar pressure and atmospheric drag. Its performance is limited in part by the charge build-up on its free-floating test mass.

The UV-LED system removes this charge by shining UV light on the test mass, creating a cloud of electrons through photoemission. The discharge rate is controlled with electrodes. Stanford University demonstrated this technology in the laboratory environment and NASA/ARC implemented the technology in a flight package that was flown on the KACST spacecraft Saudisat 4.

The program has two technical goals: flight qualification of new UV light emitting diodes, and the on-orbit demonstration of AC charge management. The success of UV-LED increases the capability of gravitational reference sensors on future groundbreaking missions such as Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA).

Nation: Saudi Arabia
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: KACST Space Research Institute
Contractors: KACST Space Research Institute
Equipment: UV LED experiment
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 100 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SaudiSat 4 2014-033G 19.06.2014 Do LC-370/13 Dnepr with Deimos 2, KazEOSat 2, TabletSat-Aurora, BugSat 1, AprizeSat 9, AprizeSat 10, UniSat 6, BRITE-CA 1, BRITE-CA 2, Hodoyoshi 3, Hodoyoshi 4, Perseus-M 1, Perseus-M 2, Flock-1c 1, ..., 11, POPSAT-HIP 1, QB50P1, QB50P2, PACE, TigriSat, ANTELSAT, Lemur 1, NanoSatC-Br 1, Duchifat 1, PolyITAN 1, DTUSat 2, AeroCube 6A, AeroCube 6B