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FalconSat 8

FalconSat 8 [AFRL]

FalconSAT-8, is a microsatellite developed by the U.S. Air Force Academy and sponsored by the USAF Research Laboratory (AFRL).

FalconSAT-8 is an educational platform for cadets, which performs technology demonstrations for the Air Force. FalconSAT-8 carries five experimental payloads, and members of the Cadet Space Operations Squadron will operate FalconSAT-8.

The satellite will test a novel electromagnetic propulsion system, low-weight antenna technology and a commercial reaction wheel to provide attitude control in orbit.

following experiments are on board:

  • MEP (Magnetogradient Electrostatic Plasma Truster) Novel electromagnetic propulsion system
  • MMA (Metamaterials Antenna) Low size, weight, power antenna with phased-array like performance
  • CANOE (Carbon nanotube experiment) RF cabling with carbon nanotube braiding flexed using shape-memory alloy
  • ACES (Attitude Control and Energy Storage) Commercial reaction wheel modified into a flywheel for energy storage and release
  • SkyPad Off-the-shelf cameras and GPUs integrated into low-SWAP (size, weight and power) package

The satellite was deployed end of May 2020 from the service module of X-37B OTV-6, which was launched on 17 May 2020 on an Atlas-5(501).

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: U.S. Air Force Academy
Contractors: U.S. Air Force Academy
Equipment: MEP, MMA, CANOE, ACES, SkyPad
Propulsion: Magnetogradient Electrostatic Plasma Truster
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 136 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
FalconSat 8 (USA 300) 2020-029B 17.05.2020 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(501) with X-37B OTV-6


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