SOAR - Satellite for Orbital Aerodynamics Research
Document typeConference report
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation
Rights accessRestricted access - publisher's policy
SOAR (Satellite for Orbital Aerodynamics Research) is a CubeSat mission designed to investigate the interaction betweendifferent materials and the atmospheric flow regime in Very Low Earth Orbits (VLEO) and to demonstrate aerodynamicattitude and orbit control manoeuvres. Improving knowledge of the gas-surface interactions is important for the designof future satellites operating in lower altitude orbits and will enable the identification of materials which can minimisedrag or improve aerodynamic control, a key aim of the Horizon 2020 DISCOVERER project. In order to achieve theseobjectives, SOAR features two payloads: i) a set of steerable fins which provide the ability to expose different materialsor surface finishes to the oncoming flow with varying angle of incidence whilst also providing variable geometry toinvestigate aerostability and aerodynamic control; and ii) an Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer with Time-of-Flightcapability which enables accurate measurement of the in-situ flow composition, density, and thermospheric wind velocity.Using precise orbit and attitude determination information and the measured atmospheric flow characteristics the dragand side-force experienced by the satellite in orbit can studied and estimates of the aerodynamic coefficients calculated.This paper first presents the scientific design and operational concept of the SOAR mission, focusing on the stabilityand control strategy which enables the spacecraft to maintain the flow-pointing attitude required by the payloads. Themethodology for recovery of the (relative) aerodynamic coefficients from the measured orbit and in-situ atmosphericdata is then presented. Finally, the uncertainty of the resolved aerodynamic coefficients is estimated statistically usingsimulations.
CitationCrisp , N. [et al.]. SOAR - Satellite for Orbital Aerodynamics Research. A: International Astronautical Congress. "69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2018): Bremen, Germany 1-5 October 2018". International Astronautical Federation, 2018, p. 6132-6147.
- Departament de Física - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- Departament d'Enginyeria de Projectes i de la Construcció - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- L'AIRE - Laboratori Aeronàutic i Industrial de Recerca i Estudis - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- TUAREG - Turbulence and Aerodynamics in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Research Group - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos