FORESAIL-1 cubesat mission to measure radiation belt losses and demonstrate de-orbit

Petri Niemelä*, Kiril Cheremetiev, Bruce Clayhills, Ville Lundén, Markus Hiltunen, Ville-Valtteri Kettunen, Marius Anger, Bagus Riwanto, Nemanja Jovanovic, Minna Palmroth, Rami Vainio, Pekka Janhunen, Jaan Praks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


FORESAIL-1 satellite is the first small satellite mission in the series of scientific small satellite missions developed by the Finnish Center of Excellence Research in Sustainable Space. The development of the satellite started in 2018 and it is expected to be launched in June 2022. The satellite's primary payload is a scanning dual sensor Particle Telescope, PATE, which scientific objective is to measure the energy and flux of energetic particle loss to the atmosphere with a representative energy and pitch angle resolution. In the later phases of the mission, a second shorter telescope is used to measure Energetic Neutral Atoms originating from the Sun. The satellite’s secondary payload is a Plasma Brake de-orbiting experiment. In the experiment the Plasma Brake payload is used to reel out a 60 meter long tether out utilizing the satellite's spin motion. After deployment the tether is charged by high voltage to measure tether's interaction with the plasma environment and later to demonstrate the existence of the plasma brake effect by lowering the orbit and eventually de-orbiting the satellite. The satellite’s avionics platform has been designed to be a precursor platform for the following beyond the LEO missions to the solar wind. Thus, the avionics system has been designed for high reliability and radiation tolerance in focus. The complete avionics system has been designed and tested in Aalto University, allowing greater flexibility on satellite’s system design and component selection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4S Symposium 2022
PublisherEuropean Space Agency
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed conference publication
EventSmall Satellites, System & Services Symposium - Vilamoura, Portugal
Duration: 16 May 202220 May 2022


ConferenceSmall Satellites, System & Services Symposium
Abbreviated title4S Symposium


  • Satellite
  • CubeSat
  • Plasma brake


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