Joint Development of Innovative Small and Cube Satellites
The 4th meeting on joint development of innovative small & cube satellites was held in Singapore.
On November 6, 2018, the 4th meeting on joint development of innovative small and cube satellites organized by the APRSAF Secretariat was successfully held in Singapore during the APRSAF-25. The meeting was intended to be a kind of brain storming for preparing the mission concept.
There were 35 participants from 22 organizations including space agencies and universities.
The agenda of the meeting
- Report the Results of Quick Feasibility Study for Rendezvous & Docking by JAXA
- Discussion on the possibility of putting additional "meaningful payloads"
At First, the history of the discussions was introduced by Mr. Akira Kosaka, Executive Secretary of the APRSAF Secretariat.
[Reference]the presentation material
Idea of mission concept (as of November 5, 2018)
- To develop a chaser CubeSat (6U size) and a target CubeSat (3~6U size) with meaningful payload, for technology demonstration of rendezvous and docking technologies and inter-satellites communication.
- From the view point of efficiency, we will utilize already developed system as much as possible, and will focus on the development of the technologies of minimized thruster, docking mechanism and inter-satellite communication.
1. Report the Results of Quick Feasibility Study for Rendezvous & Docking by JAXA
Mr. Atsushi Noda, JAXA reported the result of quick feasibility study for Rendezvous & Docking (RVD) system of a small CubeSat.
- ETS-VII satellite's automatic RVD in orbit experiment and the scheme of system were shown.
- There were so many subsystems and components for RVD system. But new technology makes possible those components small for CubeSat.
- Systems requirements for RVD in target CubeSat and chaser CubeSat were presented.
- System concept of target CubeSat and chaser CubeSat were presented and technological level of each component were also suggested like "COTS" or "need to develop".
- Subsystem configuration such as thruster and RVD sensor was presented.
[Reference]The presentation material
2. Discussion on the possibility of putting additional "meaningful payloads"
At this part, ISRO, Kazcosmos, China and the University of Tokyo made their presentations. There were eight proposals for meaningful payloads, however, the discussion was not concluded. Therefore, we will keep discussion on meaningful payloads.
Currently discussing about chaser & target satellite up to 6-U size each.
We recognized the limitation of mission objectives directly contributing to the resolving social issues.
- There is an existing project using a cube satellite. It will be an available opportunity for join. If those who has an interest, please consider to join that.
- As for the APRSAF Initiative, as a first step for cube satellite, we will continue to discuss for development. As for a meaningful payload, we received some ideas but so far, we have not yet reached a consensus. This meaningful payload discussion should be continued even after the announcement and after receiving official application.
- Some linkage connection between the first mission and future bigger project including a constellation project, using the advantage of the technology of RVD, ISC. When we discuss about a meaningful payload, we should consider the future linkage to the bigger mission.
At the plenary session of the APRSAF-25 on November 8, 2018, the progress of the mission concept was introduced. However, still this mission concept need to be discussed in detail on what portion who will make contributions.
The official commitment will be announced by the APRSAF Secretariat.
Hopefully the signature of the Agreement would be made in March and April time frame next year for starting the development.
Attachment 1: Agenda of 4th meeting on November 6
Attachment 2: History of Joint Development of Innovative Small and Cube Satellites