Nanosatellite mission integrator NanoAvionics has received a contract to build a 12U nanosatellite bus for the Singaporean research mission “Cathode-Less Micro Propulsion Satellite” (CaLeMPSat). The satellite bus is targeted to be delivered before the end of February 2020, and SpaceSATS and its partners are targeting the launch of CaLeMPSat in late 2020.
Developed by SpaceSATS, Plasma Innovation Labs (PILS) and the Plasma Source and Application Center (PSAC) at National Institute of Education (an autonomous institute of Nanyang Technological University), CaLeMPSat will test miniature Hall effect thrusters (HETs) that operate at power classes never before achieved.
The CaLeMPSat mission will test miniature HETs that operate at power classes far below the 100W-class thrusters of today’s satellite industry. The research payload will consist of a 60W HET, an integrated 30W HET (in a 1.5U volume), and two 10W Hall Effect Micro Jets (HEM-Jets). A 3-axial, 5-nozzle cold gas thruster will round out the experimental thruster payload. The consortium will test additional miniaturized systems for plasma propulsion including:
- 8-channel gas feeding unit,
- plasma diagnostic unit,
- power processing and control unit,
- Earth magnetic field measurement unit.
Miniaturized HETs will allow nanosatellites to perform high-impulse maneuvers such as orbital maintenance or formation flying as well as the decommissioning maneuvers needed to minimize space debris.
“The robustness of NanoAvionics’ technology, its track record of successful nano-satellite missions and short lead times made NanoAvionics the ideal choice for the CaLeMPSat mission,” said Dr. Chan Chia Sern, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceSATS and Plasma Innovation Labs. “NanoAvionics team has given great amount of support to provide the best possible technical solution, even before signing the contract, and we look forward to working together through integration, launch, and operation to achieve CaLeMPSat’s pioneering mission objectives.”
“The propulsion technology that SpaceSATS and its collaborators will demonstrate on CaLeMPSat will open the door to new mission opportunities for nano-satellites,” NanoAvionics CEO Vytenis J. Buzas said. “NanoAvionics is pleased to have been chosen to support such an innovative project with our multi-purpose nano-satellite bus, which has a proven track record of serving in-orbit demonstration missions in the past.”