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PW-Sat2 on the home straight before the flight into space

 The main mission of the satellite is to test the deorbit sail, photo: PW-Sat2

The start in this year

After several months of very intensive work, on February 28th, 2018 PW-Sat2’s integration was completed. The satellite built by students of the Warsaw University of Technology is ready for the final tests before being transferred for the launch into space. Due to the delay in the SpaceX launches, the start was postponed to the second half of 2018.

The satellite built in the Students’ Space Association over the past months has passed tests of electronic components and its integration at CEZAMAT PW and Space Research Center PAS laboratories. For such works, it is necessary to stay in a cleanroom facility that provides controlled clean and safe conditions for all mechanical and electronic subsystems. The integration has come to an end at the turn of February and March, and the satellite is now waiting for final tests: vibration and vacuum chamber. In May, the satellite is scheduled to be transferred to the intermediary that provides a slot on the Falcon 9 rocket.

Electronics stack assembly at the Space Research Centre, photo: PW-Sat2

The conceptual work on the PW-Sat2 project started back in 2013, and several months later the first prototypes of the deorbit sail and designs of basic subsystems were created. In 2016, the design phase was completed for the majority of satellite components and production began – first engineering prototypes, and then in 2017, the final copies that will fly onboard the satellite into space.

In 2016 and 2017, all components underwent individual tests, which allowed to eliminate potential problems in further stages of work. Over time, satellite experiments were combined into more and more complex systems and at some point, the set of devices included in PW-Sat2 was working on a so-called FlatSat. In this arrangement, the satellite carried out its mission on Earth several times and proved its readiness for integration.
At the same time, work was carried out on the mechanical structure and the deorbit sail. The satellite prototype underwent vibration tests at the Institute of Aviation, and the sail opening mechanism proved its effectiveness during the test campaign at the Drop Tower in Bremen. Upcoming vibration tests of the satellite flight model will be carried out using the EC Test Systems infrastructure in Cracow.

PW-Sat2 together with its testpod in CEZAMAT PW, photo: PW-Sat2

PW-Sat2 is a satellite built in the CubeSat 2U standard by students from the Students’ Space Association at the Warsaw University of Technology. The main mission of the satellite is to test the deorbit sail, which will shorten the satellite’s lifetime in orbit from several years to several months. On board, there will also be a Sun Sensor, deployable solar panels, two cameras and an original power system. The experiments were entirely designed and built by the University students. The launch of the satellite is currently planned for the second half of 2018 (June-September), however, the deadline is subject to change.

Feel free to contact PW-Sat2 team at kontakt@pw-sat.pl.

Source: PW-Sat2/Students Space Association WUT.