NanoAvionics has received a contract to provide its flight-proven nano-satellite bus in a 12U configuration for the Singaporean research mission, “Cathode-Less Micro Propulsion Satellite” (CaLeMPSat). CaLeMPSat will occupy more than 9U of payload volume. To support that payload, the nano-satellite bus will provide an average orbit power generation exceeding 20W as well as UHF and S-band communications.
“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.”
CaLeMPSat will be testing miniature Hall effect thrusters (HETs) developed by SpaceSATS, Plasma Innovation Labs (PILS) and the Plasma Source and Application Center (PSAC) at the National Institute of Education (an autonomous institute of Nanyang Technological University). Miniaturized HETs will allow nano-satellites to perform high-impulse maneuvers such as orbital maintenance or formation flying, as well as the decommissioning maneuvers needed to minimize space debris.
The miniature HETs 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). The experimental thruster payload includes a 3-axial, 5-nozzle cold gas thruster. The consortium will test additional miniaturized systems for plasma propulsion including an 8-channel gas feeding unit, a plasma diagnostic unit, a power processing and control unit, and an Earth magnetic field measurement unit.
The spacecraft’s orientation will be managed by NanoAvionics’ Attitude Control and Determination System which includes reaction wheels, magnetorquers, an IMU, GPS, solar sensors, and a star tracker.
“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.