Small satellite technology has a great potential to increase the variety and efficiency of space science missions, but existing commercial CubeSat platform technologies cannot tolerate the radiation levels expected on orbits that cross the Van-Allen radiation belts. This paper explores the use of CubeSats for space science on high-altitude orbits through these radiation belts, using the proposed Foresail-2 mission as an example. The mission goals and environment have been analysed to derive platform design requirements and to discuss trade-offs related to radiation tolerance. The proposed radiation protection strategy is based on Monte-Carlo particle tracking simulations, performed to identify suitable shielding materials and geometries. According to the simulations, 6 mm of aluminium shielding would reduce the total ionising dose received by the internal electronics, below 12 krad per year at geostationary transfer orbit. The shielding strategy requires that all apertures be shielded separately and specifically designed pass-through connectors be used to transfer signals and power between the inside and outside of the spacecraft. To verify the simulations with in-situ measurements, a dedicated radiation experiment payload is proposed to be deployed on the satellite along with other scientific payloads of the mission.
|Published - 2023
|MoE publication type
|IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 7 May 2023 → 12 May 2023
|IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation
|07/05/2023 → 12/05/2023
- Radiation belts