Deorbitation System – Sail

four square meters of mylar ten times thinner than hair

Space debris problem
and our remedy

The main PW-Sat 2 payload will be deorbitation system, which allows faster removal of satellites from their orbit after it completes its mission.

Deorbitation of satellites is now increasingly hot topic because of still grownig amount of “space debris” in orbit. These so-called space junk includes spent rocket stages, old satellites, and small fragments from the collision of satellites (such as the one in February 10, 2009, when there was a collision between functioning satellite Iridium 33 and inactive satellite Kosmos 2251). As a result of such event a lot of small parts are deployed into space, which are a great threat for operating spacecrafts. Adapting this kind of deorbitation systems into all the spacecrafts would prevent such unfortunate events.

In PW-Sat 2 deorbitation system will be sail, and more specifically the drag parachute opened behind the satellite. Its task will be to increase the surface of the satellite and thus increase the drag, which in low orbits is still a very significant factor in the deceleration. After testing our other payloads we will send a command to deploy the parachute which will lower the orbit to eventually burn the satellite up in the atmosphere.

Current work (2017)

The project od the deorbitation system is almost fully developed. A prototype of the sail has succesfully passed deployment tests in vacuum chamber. Full-sized versions of the sail are currently being prepared to be placed on the satellite.