Project Outline

The Icarus-3 De-Orbiting Device is a smaller simpler version of Icarus-1. It is a Drag Augmentation system developed through space debris mitigation and remediation technologies. An 'Air Brake' used to increase atmospheric drag at the end of the Satellite mission, to shorten the satellites life in orbit and bring it to burn up in the atmosphere.

Project Description:

Icarus-3 has changes to fit a smaller size of spacecraft and improve reliability.  It is an aluminium frame construction which fits around the satellite side panel, thus allowing equipment mounting and protrusions on the panel surface and maximising useful sail area. The lightweight aluminium booms and Kapton sail are folded into the frame and retained by flexible clamp-bands until release, the sail folding pattern has been simplified from Icarus-1.  Deployment is via passive release of stored energy in tape springs. There is a simple power connection to the satellite to receive commands and provide small amount of power (–1 A for ~10 ms) to fire each cutter pair.  (Mass = 2.3 kg for ~2 m2 sail area; Carbonite-1: 80 kg, ~650km orbit).

(Credit: Cranfield Space Group)