Another "PolyITAN" Is in Orbit! To Be Continued…

Nanosatellite "PolyITAN-HP-30" developed and manufactured at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute was launched into orbit on January 3, 2023!

This is the third university’s nanosatellite of the "PolyITAN" series that was launched into space.

"PolyITAN-HP-30" is a cube-shaped nanosatellite of the 2U format (that is, one that consists of two cubic blocks of 100x100x100 mm each) CubeSat. The total weight of the spacecraft is 1.97 kg. Its name reflects its mission: HP is an abbreviation for the English words "Heat Pipes".

The name of the new satellite of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute also has the number 30. It reminds us that it was created and dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine.

Like previous spacecraft of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, the PolyITAN-НР-30 2U CubeSat nanosatellite was developed, manufactured and prepared for space launch by a group of scientists, students and post-graduate students of several faculties and educational and scientific institutes of the university under the leadership of Boris Rassamakin within the university space program.

The payload of the nanosatellite, which will ensure the fulfillment of its mission, is a subsystem of thermal regulation of the local heat source (it consists of electronic control boards, radio channels and other elements of the device's subsystems) based on an aluminum miniature heat pipe. Such subsystems are extremely important in the conditions of space flight: they prevent overheating and outage of satellite elements. Therefore, the task to be performed in orbit by "PolyITAN-HP-30" is to investigate the effectiveness of heat pipes as the main element of thermal stabilization systems of spacecraft. That is, the influence of the factors of space and microgravity (in fact, zero gravity) on the life and performance characteristics of heat mini pipes (HMP) will be tested during the flight. In other words, the influence of the degradation processes of such pipes (due to the decomposing of the heat transfer agent, corrosion of materials, thermal shocks) on their thermotechnical characteristics - thermal resistance, heat transfer capacity, resource, etc. - under the complex influence of radiation, ultraviolet irradiation, microgravity and very significant fluctuations in external temperature - will be studied. Suffice it to say that the apparatus is designed for operation in the ambient temperature range from -55 °C to +85 °C! Control of the life and performance of the HMP will be carried out using the readings of eight temperature sensors, which will be transmitted to the university ground flight control center and processed there.

Among the tasks of "PolyITAN-HP-30" is testing the operation of solar sensors developed by the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, GPS/Glonass receiver, breakthrough magnetometers, gyroscopes, electromagnets and flywheel in the orientation and stabilization system in outer space, as well as testing new software for the satellite control systems of the "PolyITAN-НР-30" 2U CubeSat nanosatellite and receiving telemetry from it by the mission control ground station.

The entire experiment is planned to be conducted during 2023-2024.

Thus, the satellite consists of five subsystems: data processing, determination of orientation, stabilization and navigation, power supply, communication, thermal subsystem. All modules developed during the creation of "PolyITAN-HP-30" can be used in other nanosatellites.

After a series of tests and refinements, the "PolyITAN-HP-30" nanosatellite was placed in the "FM Quadpack" deployment mechanism of the ISIS company (The Netherlands) on October 24 last year. Then it was packed in a protected transport container and delivered to Cape Canaveral (Florida, USA) for integration into the SpaceX Falcon-9 launch vehicle. All this became possible due to the sponsorship of Boeing Ukraine and the support of the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). At the same time, the State Space Agency of Ukraine helped the university to solve logistics and export issues. In general, the construction of the satellite was financed at the expense of budget funds provided by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine within the implementation of winning projects and developments of scientific research competitions on the relevant subject, and the basic funding agreement.

The launch of the nanosatellite could be watched live. The launch vehicle launched on January 3 at 16:56 Kyiv time as part of the Transporter-6 Mission, which was supposed to launch 114 satellites into Earth orbit, including "PolyITAN-HP-30". At 18:01 exactly on schedule, the university nanosatellite separated from the carrier. Broadcast of the launch was organized at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Everything that happened thousands of kilometers from Kyiv was shown on the big screen at the university's Situation Center and immediately commented on by members of the development team. They also gave explanations about the design and elements of the satellite.

"This year we plan to launch two more satellites into space: "PolyITAN-3PUT" (jointly with the Poznań University of Technology) and "PolyITAN-12U" dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. The functionality of both is the Earth's remote sensing with a resolution of 12-20 meters and 2-4 meters respectively. Here we want to help the state in this component of research," Michael Zgurovsky, Rector, said after the successful separation of the satellite from the transport container and its access to orbit.

According to the Rector, in the future it is planned to complete the manufacturing of the "PolyITAN-BiO" nanosatellite and launch it jointly with the M.G. Kholodny Institute of Botany of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine to study the development of plants in space; satellite "GRAVISAT" for determining space weather parameters necessary for forecasting earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. Besides, the university works on the group of microsatellites for the Earth's remote sensing with a resolution of half a meter, the creation of which will allow Ukraine to refuse buying space images of our territory in other countries, etc.

The Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has taken a leading position in Ukraine in the field of the creation of nano- and microsatellites for more than 10 years of work. The launch of the third university nanosatellite is further proof of that. So, despite the enemy's efforts to hurt our interests, and all the difficulties of wartime, it is to be continued...

Dmytro Stefanovych