By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by following this link Accept & Close ›
Space Blog

Space collision course avoided for TechDemoSat-1

And another first for SSTL, as our new Hollow Cathode Thruster fires up to save the day.
Before switch-on for TechDemoSat-1’s 8 new technology payloads could take place this week, the team from SSTL has worked hard to commission the spacecraft’s systems and some of our new product developments on board.

"Close approach warnings"

One of these new developments, a propulsion system that incorporates new tank weld processes and also trials a new type of electric propulsion system, the Hollow Cathode Thruster,  was called upon earlier than expected on 13 August when we received 5 “close approach warnings” – in other words, a collision alert – for object number #23534, DMSP 5D-2 F13 DEB, which turned out to be part of the USA’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.

The Hollow Cathode Thruster is mounted on the underside of TechDemoSat-1

Collision avoidance manoeuvres

We performed a 5 minute firing of our new propulsion system to move TechDemoSat-1 out of danger, and we’re glad to say that it performed perfectly.  That was just as well since a week later it was called on to perform a second 5 minute firing to again move of the way of a second close approach – this time with TechDemoSat-1’s own “little brother”, UKube-1, with whom it shared a ride into orbit! 

Another first from SSTL

The inconvenience of having to switch on our brand new propulsion system earlier than scheduled in our meticulous commissioning plan, was swept away with a great result – and we’re well on the way to qualifying the new system, which will be utilised in the design and build of future spacecraft for SSTL. 

The Hollow Cathode Thruster is in fact a world first – whilst Hollow Cathodes have been extensively used as neutralisers for larger electric propulsion systems, this is the first time one has been used as a stand-alone thruster.  





24 October 20140 Comments1 Comment

Back to Blog

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.

About This Blog

SSTL's lowdown on cost effective space technology, small satellites, space science and interplanetary exploration.

Post Archive

December 2017(1)
October 2017(1)
May 2017(1)
January 2017(2)
October 2016(3)
September 2016(1)
July 2016(1)
June 2016(1)
April 2016(1)
March 2016(4)
February 2016(3)
December 2015(2)
November 2015(3)
October 2015(3)
July 2015(1)
May 2015(0)
May 2015(1)
April 2015(1)
March 2015(2)
February 2015(2)
January 2015(2)
December 2014(1)
November 2014(2)
October 2014(2)
September 2014(1)
July 2014(2)
June 2014(3)
May 2014(1)
April 2014(1)
March 2014(1)
February 2014(2)
January 2014(2)
November 2013(3)
October 2013(2)
September 2013(2)
July 2013(3)
June 2013(2)
May 2013(2)
April 2013(4)
March 2013(1)
February 2013(3)
January 2013(5)
December 2012(6)
November 2012(5)
October 2012(4)
September 2012(4)
August 2012(1)
July 2012(6)
June 2012(1)
May 2012(2)
April 2012(5)
March 2012(3)
February 2012(3)
January 2012(1)
December 2011(1)
November 2011(4)
October 2011(5)
September 2011(4)
August 2011(3)
July 2011(4)
June 2011(6)
May 2011(3)
April 2011(1)
March 2011(3)
February 2011(2)
January 2011(3)
December 2010(2)
November 2010(1)
October 2010(2)
September 2010(4)
August 2010(4)
July 2010(2)
June 2010(2)
May 2010(2)
April 2010(4)
March 2010(4)
February 2010(4)
January 2010(3)
December 2009(2)
November 2009(5)
October 2009(2)
September 2009(6)
August 2009(4)
July 2009(3)
June 2009(1)
May 2009(2)
March 2009(2)
February 2009(5)
January 2009(2)
December 2008(3)
November 2008(6)
October 2008(5)
September 2008(3)
August 2008(5)
June 2008(1)
May 2008(3)
April 2008(5)
March 2008(1)
February 2008(1)
January 2008(3)
December 2007(3)
November 2007(6)
October 2007(3)
September 2007(3)
August 2007(1)
July 2007(1)
June 2007(2)
May 2007(2)
April 2007(1)
January 2007(3)
December 2006(1)
September 2006(1)
May 2006(2)
January 2006(1)
December 2005(7)

Show/Hide All

If you like Space Blog, why not subscribe by RSS by clicking the subscribe button, or to recieve updates by email click the subscribe by email button.

*Comments Policy
SSTL reserves the right not to publish comments if they are deemed inappropriate.