In-Orbit Commissioning of Czech Nanosatellite VZLUSAT-1 for the QB50 Mission with a Demonstrator of a Miniaturised Lobster-Eye X-Ray Telescope and Radiation Shielding Composite Materials

Abstract

This paper presents the results of in-orbit commissioning of the first Czech technological CubeSat satellite of VZLUSAT-1. The 2U nanosatellite was designed and built during the 2013 to 2016 period. It was successfully launched into Low Earth Orbit of 505 km altitude on June 23, 2017 as part of international mission QB50 onboard a PSLV C38 launch vehicle. The satellite was developed in the Czech Republic by the Czech Aerospace Research Centre, in cooperation with Czech industrial partners and universities. The nanosatellite has three main payloads. The housing is made of a composite material which serves as a structural and radiation shielding material. A novel miniaturized X-Ray telescope with lobster-eye optics and an embedded Timepix detector represents the CubeSat’s scientific payload. The telescope has a wide field of view. VZLUSAT-1 also carries the FIPEX scientific instrument as part of the QB50 mission for measuring the molecular and atomic oxygen concentration in the upper atmosphere.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17
Fig. 18

References

  1. J.R.P. Angel, Lobster eyes as X-ray telescopes. Astrophys. J. 233, 364 (1979)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. T. Baca, M. Platkevic, J. Jakubek, A. Inneman, V. Stehlikova, M. Urban, O. Nentvich, M. Blazek, R. McEntaffer, V. Daniel, Miniaturized X-ray telescope for VZLUSAT-1 nanosatellite with Timepix detector. J. Instrum. 11(10), C10,007–C10,007 (2016)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. S. Busch, P. Bangert, S. Dombrovski, K. Schilling, UWE-3, in-orbit performance and lessons learned of a modular and flexible satellite bus for future pico-satellite formations. Acta Astronaut. 117, 73–89 (2015)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. V. Dániel, L. Pína, A. Inneman, V. Zadražil, T. Báča, M. Platkevič, V. Stehlíková, O. Nentvich, M. Urban, Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes monitor demonstrator on CubeSat, in CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing, vol. 9978 (SPIE, Bellingham, 2016), p. 99780D

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  5. V. Daniel, M. Urban, O. Nentvich, V. Stehlikova, VZLUSAT-1: verification of new materials and technologies for space, in CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing, vol. 9978 (SPIE, Bellingham, 2016), p. 99780N

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  6. V. Dániel, A. Inneman, L. Pína, V. Zadražil, T. Báča, V. Stehlíková, O. Nentvich, M. Urban, V. Maršíková, R. McEntaffer, J. Tutt, T. Schulz, X-ray Lobster Eye all-sky monitor for rocket experiment, in EUV and X-Ray Optics: Synergy Between Laboratory and Space V, vol. 10235 (SPIE, Bellingham, 2017), p. 1023503

    Google Scholar 

  7. C. Granja, S. Polansky, Z. Vykydal, S. Pospisil, A. Owens, Z. Kozacek, K. Mellab, M. Simcak, The SATRAM Timepix spacecraft payload in open space on board the Proba-V satellite for wide range radiation monitoring in LEO orbit. Planet. Space Sci. 125, 114–129 (2016)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. P. Hana, A. Inneman, V. Daniel, L. Sieger, M. Petru, Mechanical properties of carbon fiber composites for applications in space, in Optics and Measurement Conference, ed. by J. Kovačičinová, T. Vít (2015), p. 94420A

    Google Scholar 

  9. R. Hudec, Astrophysical payloads for picosatellites. Contrib. Astron. Obs. Skaln. Pleso 47(2), 143–150 (2017)

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. X. Llopart, R. Ballabriga, M. Campbell, L. Tlustos, W. Wong, Timepix, a 65k programmable pixel readout chip for arrival time, energy and/or photon counting measurements. Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. A, Accel. Spectrom. Detect. Assoc. Equip. 581(Spec. Iss. 1–2), 485–494 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. O. Nentvich, M. Urban, V. Stehlikova, L. Sieger, A. Inneman, VZLUSAT-1: health monitoring system, preliminary results. Astron. Nachr. 339(5), 397–402 (2018)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. L. Pina, R. Hudec, A. Inneman, D. Cerna, J. Jakubek, L. Sieger, V. Dániel, W. Cash, L. Mikulickova, R. Pavlica, E. Belas, J. Polak, X-ray monitoring for astrophysical applications on Cubesat, in EUV and X-Ray Optics: Synergy Between Laboratory and Space IV, vol. 9510 (SPIE, Bellingham, 2015), p. 951005

    Google Scholar 

  13. L. Pína, R. Hudec, A.J. Inneman, T. Baca, M. Blazek, M. Platkevic, L. Sieger, D. Doubravova, R.L. McEntaffer, T.B. Schultz, V. Dániel, Development and tests of X-Ray multifoil optical system for 1D imaging (Conference Presentation), in Advances in Laboratory-Based X-Ray Sources, Optics, and Applications V, vol. 9964 (SPIE, Bellingham, 2016), p. 99640B

    Google Scholar 

  14. W. Schmidt, A proposed X-ray focusing device with wide field of view for use in X-ray astronomy. Nucl. Instrum. Methods 127(2), 285–292 (1975)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. V. Stehlikova, M. Urban, O. Nentvich, V. Daniel, L. Sieger, J. Tutt, Hard X-ray Vela supernova observation on rocket experiment WRX-R. Contrib. Astron. Obs. Skaln. Pleso 47(2), 165–169 (2017)

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  16. D. Turecek, L. Pinsky, J. Jakubek, Z. Vykydal, N. Stoffle, S. Pospisil, Small Dosimeter based on Timepix device for International Space Station. J. Instrum. 6(12), C12,037–C12,037 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. M. Urban, O. Nentvich, V. Stehlikova, T. Baca, V. Daniel, R. Hudec, VZLUSAT-1: nanosatellite with miniature lobster eye X-ray telescope and qualification of the radiation shielding composite for space application. Acta Astronaut. 140, 96–104 (2017)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. M. Urban, O. Nentvich, V. Stehlikova, L. Sieger, L. Mikulickova, Outgassing monitor on VZLUSAT-1: preliminary results. Astron. Nachr. 339(5), 367–370 (2018)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. I. Vertat, R. Linhart, L. Dudacek, V. Daniel, P. Svoboda, Autonomous and semi-autonomous radio commanding of VZLUSAT-1 nanosatellite from ground control station in Pilsen, in 2017 International Conference on Applied Electronics (AE) (IEEE Press, New York, 2017), pp. 1–6

    Google Scholar 

  20. Z. Vykydal, J. Jakubek, USB lite—miniaturized readout interface for Medipix2 detector. Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. A, Accel. Spectrom. Detect. Assoc. Equip. 633, S48–S49 (2011)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The work presented in this paper was performed as a cooperative effort of carried out by the following companies: Czech Aerospace Research Centre a.s., TTS, s.r.o.—Thin-film Technological Services, s.r.o., Rigaku Innovative Technologies Europe s.r.o., 5M s.r.o., HVM PLASMA spol. s.r.o., IST s.r.o, and also the Czech Technical University in Prague, the University of West Bohemia, and the Charles University in Prague. The project has been supported by Czech Republic grants TA03011329, TA04011295, GA13-33324S and GJ18-10088Y.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to V. Daniel.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Multi-Point Measurements of the Thermosphere with the QB50 Mission

Edited by David Miles, Robert Wicks and James Burch

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Daniel, V., Inneman, A., Vertat, I. et al. In-Orbit Commissioning of Czech Nanosatellite VZLUSAT-1 for the QB50 Mission with a Demonstrator of a Miniaturised Lobster-Eye X-Ray Telescope and Radiation Shielding Composite Materials. Space Sci Rev 215, 40 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-019-0589-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • CubeSat
  • QB50
  • Space radiation
  • Pixel detector Timepix
  • Carbon composite
  • Lobster-Eye optics