Experiment of Deployment of PW-Sat2 Satellite’s Deorbit Sail in Micro-gravitational Conditions (DropTES 2017)

research area: technology tests

experiment title:

Experiment of Deployment of PW-Sat2 Satellite’s Deorbit Sail in Micro-gravitational Conditions

experiment acronym: DropTES

funding agency:

United Nations / DLR / ZARM

grant number:

DropTES - Program

performing organization:

Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

prime investigator:

Dr. Jan Kindracki, Inna Uwarowa

(Dominika Rafało, Paweł Brunne, Maksymilian Gawin, Piotr Kuligowski)

experiment objective


PW-Sat2 is a CubeSat project developed by more than 30 members of Students’ Space Association (SKA) at the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering at Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), Poland. The project started in 2013 and it is scheduled for launch on Falcon 9 in 2018. PW-Sat2 is a 2-unit CubeSat that carries several experiments on-board: 4m2 deorbit sail, custom Sun sensor, deployable solar panels and custom Electrical Power System (EPS).

The primary objective of PW-Sat2 is to test its main payload - the deorbit sail system and to verify its effectiveness. The PW-Sat2 deorbit system takes the form of a square sail (2 m sides). The material of the sail (6 μm thick aluminized Mylar film) is stretched across four flat springs, coiled around a specially shaped center core and placed in a cylinder with a diameter of 80 mm. The height of the entire system is less than 70 mm. After burning through a Dyneema wire, the sail will be unlocked and deployed by a stabilized conical spring to a safe distance (ca. 20 cm) away from the satellite. During the deployment procedure the flat springs of the sail structure will extend and assume their original C-shape which will stiffen the entire structure. As a result, the area and aerodynamic drag of the satellite will be significantly increased, accelerating deorbitation of the satellite.

experiment campaigns

experiment year: 2017
number of drops: 4