Dr Chris Bridges working on STRaND
The SSTL Space Blog reports on WARP DRiVE (Water Alchohol Resistojet Propulsion system), a novel new propulsion system that will help the STRaND-1 cubesat to perform manoeuvres. STRaND-1 is the first cubesat to have two types of propulsion system. As well as the WARP DRiVE, it will be equipped with a pulsed plasma thruster system which will provide full-axis control with low power, mass and volume requirements.
WARP DRiVE works by pushing water alcohol out of a tiny hole (just 0.2mm across) to produce thrust. The main advantage of this system is that it’s much smaller than regular space propulsion systems measuring in at about the same width as a drinks coaster. The WARP DRiVE will also provide more thrust than other similar systems whilst maintaining a comparable specific impulse (the efficiency of the propulsion system).
Read the SSTL Space Blog at http://www.sstl.co.uk/Blog/January-2013/WARP-speed-ahead
STRaND stands for Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration and the programme is intended to be a long-term arrangement between the space company SSTL and academic researchers at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), with STRaND-1 the first of a long line of STRaND nanosatellites.
STRaND-1 aims to carry a NEXUS Android Smartphone into space and plans to use data rates of 9k6 or 19k2 bps for the AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437.575 MHz. A software-based speech synthesiser will be included to pay homage to the UOSAT family of satellites.
The SSTL employees involved with the STRaND programme are volunteers. It is a condition of the programme that volunteers from SSTL and SSC use their own, free time for STRaND activities (such as lunches and breaks). The project has no budget for staff so is entirely dependent on volunteers.
To watch a presentation about STRaND-1 given by Dr. Chris Bridges to the AMSAT-UK 2012 International Space Colloquium following these steps:
• Go to http://www.batc.tv/
• Click on “Film Archive”
• Select “AMSAT 2012″ in the Category box and click on Select Category
• Select “A03 – STRaND-1″ in the Stream box and click on Select Stream
• Click the play button on the video player window
The videos can be downloaded for later use, for instance at a club meeting, by clicking on the “Click Here” link underneath the video player.