Experts visit PAPELL
The Überflieger project from the DLR includes a visit of three experts from the space companies DreamUp and NanoRacks from the USA for the PAPELL team.
The experts wanted to get to meet the team in person and see how the progress of the experiment was. Further more they needed to make sure, our experiment does in no way harm or influens the crew on the ISS. The experts were satisfied with our progress and PAPELL could match all their restrictions.
Beginning with a short introduction and a brief presentation of our PAPELL experiment, the experts were shown the main components of our experiment and their functionality. This includes the experiment area 2, the actuators for pumping the ferrofluid, the onboard computer with the power supply and several sensors. In order to keep the overview, a complete integration was not done and insted of ferrofluid, collered water was pumped in the presentation. This had no influence for the tests or the functionality of our experiment. Experiment area 1 was due to time aspects not yet ready but this was no problem because the components are simulare to experiment area 2. Further more the injectors of experiment area 2 were not functional because they still have a minor mechanical issue, due to getting stuck in their reservoir. A further iteration to solve this problem is allready ordered and in manufacturing.
The biggest worry for our guests were the magnetic interferences during our experiment phase, which could compromise the other modules of the ISS. The induced magnetic field of PAPELL stays far below the requested limits of NanoRacks. Including this aspect, there is no further issue in the way for PAPELL to work on the ISS.
The additional tests concluded as expected and bigger problems did not accure. Further more, one big drop of ferrofluid could be transported from one magnet to the next without any leftovers on the surface. This is shown in the video.
Our guests were also welcomed by our head of the Institute for Space Systems, Prof. Fasoulas. The visit was concluded with a guided tour through the institute and its labratories by Mr. Herdrich.
The day was finalizied with a dinner in citycenter which the experts and many team members participated.
Pump Application using Pulsed Electromagnets for Liquid reLocation(PAPELL) is an experiment to prove the basic functionality of pumps using ferrofluids in microgravitation. Ferrofluids are liquids that develop magnetic properties in magnetic fields and can thus be manipulated with magnets. The pump does not use moving mechanical parts, relying on the interaction between the ferrofluid and electromagnets. Careful activation and deactivation of the electromagnets can move ferrofluid drops through the experiment area. The experiment can show the possible future application of ferrofluid based pumps for future space projects.
ROACH (Robotic in-Orbit Analysis of Cover Hulls) researches the use of electrostatic adhesion for new locomotion methods in space. It will launch within the REXUS/BEXUS program aboard REXUS 24 in March 2018.
The project is inspired by the increasing threat to spacecraft posed by space debris and micro-meteorites. Hulls of spacecraft are additionally subject to fatigue, e. g. due to radiation. Both sources of damage can potentially destroy or impair the spacecraft. Based on this experiment, robots may enable autonomous maintenance by searching for damage and performing small repairs. The locomotion of such a rover on a spacecraft’s hull and its adhesion to the spacecraft is the primary challenge. The principle of electrostatic adhesion shall be used to achieve that.
MIRKA2-ICV (Mikrorückkehrkapsel 2 - In-flight Communication Verification) is a successor to MIRKA2-RX and is intended to accomplish the transmission of messages from a free-falling capsule to a ground station via satellite link. This is one aspect of the original MIRKA2-RX experiment that did not work in the first iteration. Additionally, several further refined systems are developed and tested. Based on the MIRKA2 capsule, ICV is a small capsule 10 cm in diameter and less than 10 cm in height.
A first flight of MIRKA2-ICV in South Africa in July 2017 sadly returned poor results. Only three messages were transmitted, none of which were sent after separation from the capsule's carrier vehicle. Further versions of the capsule and the experiment are planned for the future, as a working and tested capsule is a prerequesite for the long-term target CAPE, a cubesat.
CAPE (Cubesat Atmospheric Probe for Education) is a planned nano-satellite, a 3-unit cubesat. It is based on a mission study by Priv.-Doz. Dr.-Ing. Georg Herdrich and Dr.-Ing. Jaime Esper within the project team "space relevant plasma" from the institute for space systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart, in cooperation with NASA Goddard.
CAPE will have its own attitude and orbit regulation systems, including a pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) ion engine. It will slowly deorbit using these engines, releasing the MIRKA2 capsule as its payload for a controlled reentry. MIRKA2 will then gather atmospheric data and test its heat shield. Several predecessors have flown or are planned, including MIRKA2-RX & MIRKA2-ICV.
KSat e. V. (small satellite student society at the University of Stuttgart) is a non-profit organization founded in the spring of 2014. The more than 60 members are students of all semesters, mostly enrolled in aerospace engineering. The association is open to students of all disciplines.
Our goal is to give our members the opportunity to realize their own spaceflight project during their time at university. Furthermore, we aim to pass on the knowledge and enthusiasm for space travel as part of our public relations work and to provide a communication platform between students, interested companies of the industry, research and the public.
KSat e. V. was founded by former SSETI students and therefore has a history of small satellite construction dating back to 2005. With MIRKA2-RX our members were able to accomplish their first successful mission 2 years after the foundation.
Beyond the engineering work, we are always prepared to enjoy a pleasant barbecue in summer as well as the obligatory Christmas party.
New members are always welcome!
Fields of Study
This is our executive board.
We usually meet every other Wednesday at 13:15 at the RZBW (Raumfahrtzentrum Baden-Württemberg). Just drop by and chat with the people.
media & design
We regularly publish scientific papers about our projects and their results. Sometimes, newspapers cover our activities in their articles. These documents can be downloaded on our site.