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StrathSat-R : Deploying inflatable CubeSat structures in micro gravity

Clark, Ruaridh and Sinn, Thomas and Lucking, Charlotte and Donaldson, Nathan and Brown, Roy Hutton and Parry, Thomas (2012) StrathSat-R : Deploying inflatable CubeSat structures in micro gravity. In: 63rd International Astronautical Congress, 2012-10-01 - 2012-10-05.

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Abstract

This paper presents the concepts, objectives and design of a student-led sounding rocket experiment which shall test novel inflatable devices in space conditions. This experiment is envisaged as the first step towards developing a CubeSat programme at the University of Strathclyde, which can exploit the novel concepts developed and the technical skills gained. The experiment itself aims to test novel, student developed, inflatable space structures in micro gravity and reduced pressure conditions. It consists of three distinct sections, the ejection housing on the rocket and the two ejectable modules that are based on CubeSat architecture. Shortly before reaching apogee, the two modules are ejected from the rocket and will deploy their own inflating structure during free flight. After landing, the ejectable modules recovery will rely upon a GPS position relayed to the team from the module by Globalstar transmission and a RF beacon for tracking with the recovery helicopter. The two modules carry two different structures resulting in distinct mission objectives: The aim of FRODO is to deploy an experimental passive de-orbiting system for high altitude spacecraft which will in the future utilise solar radiation pressure for orbit removal. The aim of SAM is to serve as a technology demonstrator for the residual air deployment method of a smart bio-inspired space structure. This paper contains details about the science objectives of the mission and how they will be achieved, its experimental design and the management of the student-led project.