UWE-4: First NanoFEEP thruster ignition

UWE-4 LogoAt 09:59:00 UT on February 26, one of the UWE-4 CubeSat NanoFEEP thrusters, developed by TU Dresden and Morpheus Space, was successfully ignited.

This is the first time an electric propulsion system has been activated on board of a 1U CubeSat in space.

A voltage of more than 5kV has been produced by the power processing unit causing a thruster emitter current of 40µA. For this very first firing a duration of 30s was intended.

Primary mission: accomplished!

Within the next days experiments with the propulsion system for a characterization of the thrusters will be conducted.

Thank you very much for your support! Especially the directly injected messages into our server using the decoding tool by Mike DK3WN help us a lot with our daily operations!

Kind regards,
The UWE‑4 Team

UWE-4 435.600 MHz
http://www7.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de/forschung/space-exploration/projects/uwe-4/

UWE-4 Thruster Firing Voltage (kV)

UWE-4 Thruster Firing Voltage (kV)

UWE-4 CubeSat frequency change request approved

After two weeks in orbit, UWE-4 is in very good shape. The batteries are fully charged, the temperatures of the batteries, the outside panels and the MCU are all lying in the expected range.

The temperatures of the outside Panels of UWE‑4 on the first day after launch

The temperatures of the outside Panels of UWE‑4 on the first day after launch

UWE-4 battery temperatures and State-of-charge on the first day after launch

UWE-4 battery temperatures and State-of-charge on the first day after launch

It can be seen, that the battery temperatures are slightly rising around 8:45 am, when the downlink of this measurement took place.

After the early orbit phase, we are looking forward to some interesting experiments with the attitude determination sensors and the propulsion system.

UWE-4 LogoUnfortunately, our uplink success rate is very poor, which currently prevents these experiments. In the precursor mission UWE-3, it was found that the reason for this is very likely a substantial noise floor at the used frequency range. For this reason, we filed a request for the change of our radio frequency to 435.600 MHz with IARU, which has already been approved.

Today, we will start the procedure to change the frequency of UWE‑4. So if you want to track UWE-4, please adjust your center frequency accordingly. We already started the procedure to change the frequency on UWE‑4, so during the next days it may happen that you can also still receive a signal on our old frequency. Additionally, we have been assigned NORAD ID 43880 in the meantime.

A tool in order to upload the received UWE-4 telemetry directly into our groundstation database is at the moment work in progress and will be shared with you as soon as we have tested it thoroughly. Until then, we would be very grateful, if you’d forward your UWE-4 telemetry files to uwe4@informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de.

Kind regards,

The UWE‑4 Team

UWE-4 satellite ready to launch

UWE-4 in the launch deployer

UWE-4 in the launch deployer

Last week our Team returned from the Vostochny Launch Site (Russia) where we performed the last check out tests of UWE-4 before launch on December 27, 2018.

The satellite will be launched through the German integrator ECM Space on a Soyuz-2 mission using a Fregat upper stage on December 27, 2018 at 02:07:18 UTC.

UWE-4 transportation to Far East of Russia was very smooth, so only a last software update and recharging of the batteries needed to be performed. By now, UWE-4 has been successfully integrated into the launch deployer followed by the integration with the upper stage, the fairing encapsulation will occur Thursday December 20.

UWE-4 LogoIn the meantime we updated our website to provide more detailed information about the orbit and the communication parameter including the beacon decoding information.

You can find all these and some more details here:
http://www7.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de/forschung/space-exploration/projects/uwe-4/

As soon as we can provide the TLE, you will find them also on our website.

Kind regards,

The UWE‑4 Team