Delfi-n3Xt one year in Orbit

Dear Radio Amateur Operators,

Delfi-n3Xt ModelDelfi-n3Xt is now in orbit for 1 year. We have been able to demonstrate the T3µPS micro-propulsion payload and the ITRX transceiver payload and have executed the a-Si:H solar cell experiment. We have also tested many of the CubeSat bus advancements: the electrical power subsystem with the battery system, robust command and data handling and an advanced attitude determination and control subsystem, comprising our custom-developed reaction wheels, magnetorquers and sun sensors. Analysis has proven that many systems and components performed as expected, while for some lessons are drawn to improve upon in the future. This shows the great achievements on the technical objectives of the mission. Last but not least, Delfi-n3Xt has trained over 80 students on a real satellite project and many of those students have now entered a professional career in the space sector. After 3 months, Delfi-n3Xt has achieved its ambitious primary mission objectives and we have concluded on a mission success!

After three months of operations, we have unfortunately lost contact with the satellite after an experiment with a transponder module for radio amateurs. We have performed many attempts to recover from this situation, but they were not successful so far. Despite of this, Delfi-n3Xt is a successful mission and also is a good and solid foundation for future space engineering projects like the current DelFFi mission. DelFFi is a formation flying demonstration mission with two identical 3U CubeSats developed at TU Delft and is part of the QB50 project in which the thermosphere is going to be characterized by 50 CubeSats carrying a standard sensor suite for in-situ atmospheric measurements. This ambitious mission will push our Delfi roadmap one step further. Delfi-n3Xt acts as a stepping stone towards this mission, and many technical elements have found their way in the DelFFi design.

We would like to thank all radio amateurs for helping us by receiving data of Delfi-n3Xt.

Source: J. Bouwmeester, Delfi CubeSat Program Manager