Lithuaninan cubesat LituanicaSAT-2 was tested in the labs of Tartu Observatory

Tiia Lillemaa | 28.04.2016

On 27th of April 2016 the Lithuanian cubesat LituanicaSAT-2 was tested at the laboratories of Tartu Observatory labs for space qualification. LituanicaSAT-2 is the third Lithuanian cubesatellite. It was composed by the Vilnius University team and will be launched this year.

LihuanicaSAT-2 test labor 2016

At the laboratories of Tartu Observatory there is available equipment to provide laboratory services for testing components in thermal vacuum chamber that are quite close to the conditions in space. The Head of Laboratories, Riho Vendt said that, it is possible to create pressure at 10-7 hPa in our thermal vacuum chamber. The satellite will be warmed up in vacuum, and kept warm for some time. Then the chamber will be cooled down and the satellite will be kept in cold. Thus will be simulating a satellite in orbit around the Earth, where once Sun is warming it up and it will be cooled down again by Earth. The human can quite easily perceive the temperature of the cubesat on Low Earth Orbit. In this case the predetermined the temperature for testing was in the range of (-20 ... + 50) °C.  The temperature in the chamber have to change faster than 1 °C in minute. We have to keep the satellite both on the maximum and minimum temperature at least one hour and repeat the cycle at least four times.

The LituanicaSAT-2 consists of three modules and is much more complex compared with the first one of the same team. This is the first one in the world that use ADN-based liquid mixture. Due to this innovative solution, it is expected to last longer on the orbit (18 months instead of 3-4 months), and it’s possible to change its orbit, if needed.

The propulsion engine was constructed by start-up NanoAvionic on the order of Vilnius University. According to the web portal ArcticStartup, is the NanoAvioncs have been successful in decreasing the space for obligatory components and therefore redoubled the space for commercial load. One Turkish Space company have already bought such system for their experimental satellite.