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The satellite

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DISCO-2 project manager: Mads Fredslund Andersen (in Danish only)

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The DISCO-2 satellite

DISCO-2 is designed by students from Aarhus University and the IT University of Copenhagen and is a 2U cubesat of 10x10x20 cm.

The satellite itself contains:

  • Expandable UHF antennas for communication with the ground station for satellite control
  • S-band patch antenna and potentially x-band patch antenna for high bandwidth downlink
  • Multi-band radio for communication via antennas to and from the ground station
  • Power system consisting of battery and solar cells mounted on the satellite itself and on expandable solar panels
  • Redundant computer system for command execution and control and monitoring of systems on board.
  • Attitude control system consisting of reaction wheels, magnetorquers and temperature, magnetic field, rotation and solar sensors.
  • Payload consisting of 3 cameras:
    • Optical camera with wide-field lens for exact location verification, large scale mapping etc.
    • Optical camera with zoom lens for high-resolution images of the earth's surface for the study of, glaciers, snow cover, icebergs and much more.
    • Thermal camera for measuring temperatures of the surface water at sea and for increasing the dynamic range when combined with optical cameras.

Exploded view of a cubsat similar in components to DISCO-2. Credit: Space Inventor

  1. Aluminium structure
  2. Electric power supply with batteries, separations switches, bus regulation, load protection, housekeeping
  3. 4 body-mounted solar panels + 2 double deployable solar panels
  4. Attitude control system with 4 reaction wheels, 4 magnetorquers, 5 sun sensors, gyro, magnetometer, computer. Pointing modes: Nadir (sun-optimised), ground spot tracking (sun-optimised tracking), inertial, sun tracking
  5. Multi-band transceiver with UHF/VHF low power link + S-band high speed link
  6. Industrial color camera with custom optics and qualification
  7. Monopole antennas for low speed link, patch antenna for high speed link