SOAR [University of Manchester]
The SOAR (Satellite for Orbital Aerodynamics Research) is a 3U CubeSat mission by the University of Manchester designed to investigate the interaction between different materials and the atmospheric flow regime in Very Low Earth Orbits (VLEO) and to demonstrate aerodynamic attitude and orbit control manoeuvres.
Improving knowledge of the gas-surface interactions is important for the design of future satellites operating in lower altitude orbits and will enable the identification of materials which can minimise drag or improve aerodynamic control, a key aim of the Horizon 2020 DISCOVERER project.
Secondary objectives of the SOAR mission are to provide new in-situ measurements of the atmospheric density and composition and variation of the thermospheric wind velocity over the range of altitudes below approximately 400 km. SOAR will also demonstrate novel attitude and orbit control manoeuvres using the aerodynamic forces and torques which can be generated at these altitudes.
In order to achieve these objectives, SOAR features two payloads:
Using precise orbit and attitude determination information and the measured atmospheric flow characteristics the drag and side-force experienced by the satellite in orbit can studied and estimates of the aerodynamic coefficients calculated.
|Type / Application:||Technology|
|Operator:||University of Manchester|
|Contractors:||University of Manchester|
|Equipment:||4 steerable fins, INMS|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||400 km × 400 km, 51.6° (typical)|
|SOAR||1998-067SL||03.06.2021||CCK LC-39A||Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5)||with Dragon CRS-22, iROSA 2B, iROSA 4B, RamSat|