DeorbitSail Mission

The DeorbitSail project is a collaboration to build a 3U CubeSat sized satellite with a deployable sail that will demonstrate rapid deorbiting. The deorbiting capability of the DeorbitSail satellite is due to increased aerodynamic drag from the large surface area of the deployed sail in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). From our proposed concept, the satellite will return to the Earth and burn up in the atmosphere over time as its altitude reduces. The project is funded by FP7.

Current Status: Launched, 10 July 2015

DeorbitSail Deployed undergoing Final Testing

 DeorbitSail completed the following key stages:

  • Soft Stack, Feburary 2015
  • System-end-to-end-Tests with the SSC Groundstation, including uplink and downlink commanding, 24 March 2015
  • Thermal Vacuum Tests at SSTL, Sevenoaks, 13-17 April 2015
  • Final Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) & Random/Sine Vibration Tests, 22 April 2015
  • Final Solar Simulator Test, 27 April 2015
  • Final Battery Soak Test, 1-4 May 2015
  • Boxed up for Delivery to India, 5 May 2015

First Week Update by Project Manager, Chiara Massimiani:

  • Friday, Successful launch at PSLV from FLP, SDSC SHAR, India. Click for PSLV-C28 Mission page & Youtube Launch Video. Antennas successfully deployed and beacon switched on.
  • First packets received by AMSAT'er Ken Swaggart W7KKE in Lincoln, OR, USA at 20:29.
  • First packets received by Surrey Space Centre's Satellite Operations Centre at 22:21:51 which confirmed satellite state. The DOS Team declare the satellite healthy from downlinked telemetry.
  • Saturday, first telemetry uplink requests set and successfully received back in the operations centre.
  • Communication tests activated to confirm satellite mode operations.
  • Monday, communications tests complete. The team declare the uplink and downlink as sufficient to facilitate the full mission operations.
  • Thursday, Transition from Launch & Early Operations (LEOP) Communication Mode to Nominal Communication Mode after further uplink tests.
  • Friday, Begin early ADCS commissioning.

Expected operations in the coming month:

  • Next week: Attitude Determination & Control System (ADCS) Commissioning phase to obtain attitude data.
  • After three or four weeks: End ADCS Commissioning phase with a stable attitude.
  • In one month: Payload commissioning phase - solar panel and sail deployment which completes all major operations before deorbiting.

First Month Update by Project Manager, Chiara Massimiani:

  • Having stable TLEs have enabled further groundstation operations, the DOS team have been operating data collection on attitude sensors and rates.
  • The DOS database contains 73,132 received telemetry points, of which 39,868 were via from AMSAT users across the world.
  • Between 1-4 Aug 2015,┬áSSC received 559 packets, containing more telemetry points, and AMSAT sent in 325 packets.
  • The beacon positions were changed via our uplink telecommands and has now increased from 5 beacon types, to 10 - to include ADCS state, estimated angular rates, magnetometer MEMs readings, and image information.
  • Uplink capability has improved after further optimisation in software demodulators and decoders, and we are now beginning file operations.
  • In collaboration with Stellenbosch University, the team have been reviewing raw and estimated ADCS measurements, as well as activating magnetorquer rods and the momentum wheel.
  • We are still on track with our plans.

Please continue to send in your data to

FP7 project
SSC logo
DLR and Athena
University of Patras
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

Page Owner: pg0016
Page Created: Monday 23 September 2013 15:08:57 by pg0016
Last Modified: Monday 21 March 2016 13:58:02 by cb0009
Expiry Date: Tuesday 23 December 2014 15:06:47
Assembly date: Wed Sep 27 11:54:12 BST 2017
Content ID: 112541
Revision: 10
Community: 1381

Rhythmyx folder: //Sites/
Content type: rx:ResearchCentre