SunSpace was established in 2000 as a spin-off from Stellenbosch University following the successful launch of SUNSAT by NASA with a Delta-II launch vehicle. During the past decade SunSpace has developed and delivered numerous satellite components, subsystems and two flight model satellite, now operational in space. This blog documents the mission of Sumbandila (funded by the DST), launched on a Soyuz-2.1b on 17 September 2009. SunSpace places a high premium on a strong partnership with the South African Government for supplying the ongoing satellite needs of our government.

27 January 2010

Propulsion system commissioned

Sumbandila has a small (2.5l) Butane propulsion system which we have "fired" twice over the last couple of days:  first for only 15s and the second time for 60s. 

The telemetry of the second event can be seen below. The top trace (red) is the pressure in the propulsion tank.  The second trace (purple) is the nozzle pressure.  The green and yellow traces represent the temperature of the pipe leading to the nozzle (thruster) and the nozzle temperature respectively.  Lastly the blue trace shows the pitch angle of the satellite, which has been maneuvered to 90° prior to the event in order to align the thruster with the satellite velocity vector.


The image above shows the propulsion system being integrated into the satellite (bottom compartment).

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Current Keplerian Elements

Last Update: 1 Febr 2010
Element set: 404

1 35870U 09049F   10032.48635300  .00000433  00000-0  21444-4 0  4040
2 35870 097.3525 084.8560 0011505 166.1189 300.7196 15.22856092 20818