The work presents the CubeSat development and selection process of camera subsystem for Earth Observation (EO) using Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) components. The 3U CubeSat VZLUSAT-2 implementing <30m Ground Sample Distance (GSD) is described in the work. For the GSD below 30m the 5um pixel size camera chip is used with 100 mm fixed focal length optical lenses system. The camera chip electronics, optics and baffle are described in the work together with camera computer, SW and necessary on-board processing. Special deployment system for S-band antenna was developed and implemented onboard to enable the near-real time observation regime. The necessity of high maturity AOCS system is discussed and solutions to reach high GSD are presented.
A novel design of x-ray optical system wide field telescope for astrophysical rocket experiments is investigated and tested in real space flight experiment. The proposed system is based on 1D and 2D modules with Schmidt Lobster Eye (LE) configuration allowing usage of multi-foil mirrors arranged to Schmidt profile.
The paper summarizes the Rocket EXperiment (REX) Lobster Eye (LE) X-ray Telescope payload results. The experiment was performed by the PennState University with X-ray spectroscope on board a Water Recovery X-Ray Rocket (WRXR) launched on 4th April, 2018. The secondary payload was the REX LE X-ray Telescope. The REX LE X-ray telescope consists of two X-ray telescopes with one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) optics, a visible-light camera and an IR grid-eye. The primary structure consists of a metal housing for the optics and a carbon fiber baffle with the Timepix sensors mounted at the end. The observation data from the experiment are briefly presented and discussed.
This paper presents the recent achievements in the development of ASPIICS (Association of Spacecraft for Polarimetric and Imaging Investigation of the Corona of the Sun), a solar coronagraph that is the primary payload of ESA’s formation flying in-orbit demonstration mission PROBA-3. The PROBA-3 Coronagraph System is designed as a classical externally occulted Lyot coronagraph but it takes advantage of the opportunity to place the 1.4 meter wide external occulter on a companion spacecraft, about 150m apart, to perform high resolution imaging of the inner corona of the Sun as close as ~1.1 solar radii. Besides providing scientific data, ASPIICS is also equipped with sensors for providing relevant navigation data to the Formation Flying GNC system. This paper is reviewing the recent development status of the ASPIICS instrument as it passed CDR, following detailed design of all the sub-systems and testing of STM and various Breadboard models.
This paper presents a Lobster Eye (LE) X-ray telescope developed for the Water Recovery X-ray Rocket (WRX-R) experiment. The primary payload of the rocket experiment is a soft X-ray spectroscope developed by the Pennsylvania State University (PSU), USA. The Czech team participates by hard LE X-ray telescope as a secondary payload. The astrophysical objective of the rocket experiment is the Vela Supernova of size about 8deg x 8deg. In the center of the nebula is a neutron star with a strong magnetic field, roughly the mass of the Sun and a diameter of about 20 kilometers forming the Vela pulsar.
The primary objective of WRX-R is the spectral measurement of the outer part of the nebula in soft X-ray and FOV of 3.25deg x 3.25deg. The secondary objective (hard LE X-ray telescope) is the Vela neutron star observation. The hard LE telescope consists of two X-ray telescopes with the Timepix detector. First telescope uses 2D LE Schmidt optics (2DLE- REX) with focal length over 1m and 4 Timepix detectors (2x2 matrix). The telescope FOV is 1.5deg x 1.5deg with spectral range from 3keV to 60keV. The second telescope uses 1D LE Schmidt optics (1D-LE-REX) with focal length of 25 cm and one Timepix detector. The telescope is made as a wide field with FOV 4.5deg x 3.5deg and spectral range from 3keV to 40keV. The rocket experiment serves as a technology demonstration mission for the payloads. The LE X-ray telescopes can be in the future used as all‐sky monitor/surveyor. The astrophysical observation can cover the hard X-ray observation of astrophysical sources in time-domain, the GRBs surveying or the exploration of the gravitational wave sources.
The proposed wide-field optical system has not been used yet. Described novel approach is based on the use of 1D "Lobster eye" optics in combination with Timepix X-ray detector in the energy range 3 - 40 keV. The proposed project includes theoretical study and a functional sample of the Timepix X-ray detector with multifoil wide-field X-ray "Lobster eye" optics. Using optics to focus X-rays on a detector is necessary in cases where the intensity of impinging X-ray radiation is below the sensitivity of the detector without optic. Generally this is the case of very low light phenomena, or e.g. monitoring astrophysical objects in space. Namely, such optical system could find applications in laboratory spectroscopy systems or in a rocket space experiment. Designed wide-field optical system combined with Timepix X-ray detector is described together with experimental results obtained during laboratory tests.
CubeSats are a good opportunity to test new technologies and materials on orbit. These innovations can be later used for improving of properties and life length of Cubesat or other satellites as well. VZLUSAT-1 is a small satellite from the CubeSat family, which will carry a wide scale of payloads with different purposes. The poster is focused on measuring of degradation and properties measurement of new radiation hardened composite material in orbit due to space environment. Material properties changes can be studied by many methods and in many disciplines. One payload measures mechanical changes in dependence on Young's modulus of elasticity which is got from non-destructive testing by mechanical vibrations. The natural frequencies we get using Fast Fourier Transform. The material is tested also by several thermometers which measure heat distribution through the composite, as well as reflectivity in dependence on different coatings. The satellite also will measure the material radiation shielding properties. There are PIN diodes which measure the relative shielding efficiency of composite and how it will change in time in space environment. Last one of material space testing is measurement of outgassing from tested composite material. It could be very dangerous for other parts of satellite, like detectors, when anything was outgassing, for example water steam. There are several humidity sensors which are sensitive to steam and other gases and measures temperatures as well.
The CubeSat mission with the demonstrator of miniaturized X-ray telescope is presented. The paper presents one of the mission objectives of using the instrument for remote sensing of the Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs). TGFs are intense sources of gamma-rays associated with lightning bolt activity and tropical thunderstorms. The measurement of TGFs exists and was measured by sounding rockets, high altitude balloons or several satellite missions. Past satellite missions were equipped with different detectors working from 10 keV up to 10 MeV. The RHESSI mission spectrum measurement of TGFs shows the maximum counts per second around 75 keV. The used detectors were in general big in volume and cannot be utilized by the CubeSat mission. The presented CubeSat is equipped with miniaturized X-ray telescope using the Timepix non-cooled pixel detector. The detector works between 3 and 60 keV in counting mode (dosimetry) or in spectrum mode with resolution 5 keV. The wide-field X-ray "Lobster-eye" optics/collimator (depending on energy) is used with a view angle of 3 degrees for the source location definition. The UV detectors with FOV 30 degrees and 1.5 degrees are added parallel with the optic as a part of the telescope. The telescope is equipped with software distinguishing between the photons and other particles. Using this software the TGF's detection is possible also in the field of South Atlantic anomaly. For the total ionization dose, the additional detector is used based on Silicone (12-60 keV) and CdTe (20 keV - 1 MeV). The presented instruments are the demonstrators suitable also for the astrophysical, sun and moon observation. The paper shows the details of TGF's observation modes, detectors details, data processing and handling system and mission. The CubeSat launch is planned to summer 2016.
The “sonic region” of the Sun corona remains extremely difficult to observe with spatial resolution and sensitivity sufficient to understand the fine scale phenomena that govern the quiescent solar corona, as well as phenomena that lead to coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which influence space weather. Improvement on this front requires eclipse-like conditions over long observation times. The space-borne coronagraphs flown so far provided a continuous coverage of the external parts of the corona but their over-occulting system did not permit to analyse the part of the white-light corona where the main coronal mass is concentrated. The proposed PROBA-3 Coronagraph System, also known as ASPIICS (Association of Spacecraft for Polarimetric and Imaging Investigation of the Corona of the Sun), with its novel design, will be the first space coronagraph to cover the range of radial distances between ~1.08 and 3 solar radii where the magnetic field plays a crucial role in the coronal dynamics, thus providing continuous observational conditions very close to those during a total solar eclipse. PROBA-3 is first a mission devoted to the in-orbit demonstration of precise formation flying techniques and technologies for future European missions, which will fly ASPIICS as primary payload. The instrument is distributed over two satellites flying in formation (approx. 150m apart) to form a giant coronagraph capable of producing a nearly perfect eclipse allowing observing the sun corona closer to the rim than ever before. The coronagraph instrument is developed by a large European consortium including about 20 partners from 7 countries under the auspices of the European Space Agency. This paper is reviewing the recent improvements and design updates of the ASPIICS instrument as it is stepping into the detailed design phase.
The primary objective of the project VZLUSAT-1 is the development, manufacturing, qualification and experimental verification of products and technologies in Earth orbit (IOD – In-Orbit Demonstration). This work addresses the issue of X-ray monitoring for astrophysical applications. The proposed wide-field optical system has not been used in space yet. The proposed novel approach is based on the use of 1D "Lobster eye" optics in combination with Timepix X-ray detector in the energy range 3 - 40 keV. The proposed project includes theoretical study and a functional sample of the Timepix X-ray detector with multifoil wide-field X-ray "Lobster eye" optics. Using optics to focus X-rays on a detector is the only solution in cases the intensity of impinging X-ray radiation is below the sensitivity of the detector, e.g. while monitoring astrophysical objects in space, or phenomena in the Earth's atmosphere. On board the functions and features of Radiation Hardened Composite Housing (RHCH), Solar panels based on composite substrate and Hollow Retro Reflector Array based on composite (HRRA) will be verified. To verify the properties of the developed products the satellite is equipped by Health Monitoring system (HM). HM system includes temperature, volatiles, radiation and mechanical properties sensors. The custom ADCS algorithms are being developed within the project. Given the number of IOD experiments and the necessary power the 1U CubeSat is equipped with Composite Deployable Panels (CDP) where HM panels and additional Solar panels are located. Satellite platform is assembled from commercial parts. Mission VZLUSAT-1 is planned for 6 months with launch in 2016.
This article describes method of measurement mechanical properties of carbon fiber composites in space. New material structures are specifically designed for use on space satellites. Composite structures will be exposed to cosmic radiation in Earth orbit on board of a '2U CubeSat' satellite. Piezoelectric ceramic sensors are used for detection mechanical vibrations of composite test strip. A great deal of attention is paid to signal processing using 8-bit microcontroler. Fast Fourier Transformation is used. Fundamental harmonic frequencies and damping from on-board measurements will serve as the input data for terrestrial data processing. The other step of elaboration data is creation of the physical model for evaluating mechanical properties of Carbon composite - Piezoelectric ceramic system. Evaluation of anisotropic mechanical properties of piezoelectric ceramics is an interesting secondary outcome of the investigation. Extreme changes in temperature and the effect of cosmic rays will affect the mechanical properties and durability of the material used for the external construction of satellites. Comparative terrestrial measurements will be performed.