Both flight model payloads have been successfully delivered to Gomspace in Denmark to be integrated onto SOAR, our CubeSat set for launch later this year!
The Satellite for Orbital Aerodynamics Research (SOAR) is a 3U CubeSat that will study gas-surface interactions in orbit with the aim of identifying new materials that can reduce drag and increase aerodynamic performance. SOAR will also measure the thermospheric winds in orbit and demonstrate aerodynamic attitude and orbit control manoeuvres.
The Aerodynamics Payload (University of Manchester) features a set of fins that are coated with four different test materials and can be individually rotated to different angles. The fins will be folded and stowed against the spacecraft body for launch and are deployed once the satellite is in orbit enabling the interaction of the different test materials with the residual atmosphere to be investigated. The steerable fins will also be used as control surfaces to demonstrate novel aerodynamic control manoeuvres in orbit.
The Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (UCL – MSSL) is designed to measure the properties of the residual atmosphere and supports the investigation of drag-reducing materials by providing in-situ density, composition, and velocity data. The instrument will also provide new information about the variability of atmospheric drag effects, thermospheric chemistry, and the impact of space-weather on the upper-atmosphere.
Congratulations to the teams for their hard work in getting these delivered and the ongoing work to integrate them.
SOAR animation, under licence CC BY-NC-SA