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De-Orbit Sail Design for TechDemoSat-1

Hobbs, Stephen 1, Kingston, Jennifer 1, Roberts, Peter 1, Juanes, Clara 1, Sewell, Richard 1, Snapir, Boris 1, Robinson, Fraser 1, Vigili Llop, Josep 1, Hobbs, John 1, Patel, Manish1
Affiliation data not available1

Document details

Publishing year2013 PublisherESA Publishing typeConference Name of conference6th European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
L. Ouwehand


Space debris mitigation guidelines are widely accepted and increasingly implemented. The guidelines require satellites to be removed from the LEO region within 25 years of their end of mission. This article describes the design of a payload, Icarus, to achieve this for the UK's TechDemoSat-1 (TDS-1) mission. Icarus was completed well within a year using limited resources. Its design was adapted to enable this while still meeting the requirements. An important driver was the need to pose no significant risk to TDS-1. The baseline design is for a randomly tumbling spacecraft with nominal orbit height of 686 km. Additional studies have been made to evaluate how this performance can be improved using active attitude control. The paper discusses issues raised in the development of this low-cost drag sail as a practical example of debris mitigation now waiting for launch on TDS-1.