Spacecraft & Subsystems
EIRSAT-1 is a 2U spacecraft. The main on-board subsystems (i.e. solar arrays, battery, on-board computer, communications, attitude determination and control system, electrical power system) and the structure are all from AAC Clyde Space. UCD has developed 2 experimental payloads (GMOD and EMOD), one software payload (WBC) and one sub-system, the Antenna Deployment Module (ADM), in-house.
The first payload element is called the ‘Gamma-ray Module’, or ‘GMOD’. It is a miniaturised sensor for use in the detection of gamma-rays from both cosmic and atmospheric phenomena. The sensor used is a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) and was developed by SensL in Co. Cork. This sensor has the potential to revolutionise in-situ and remote sensing of gamma-rays in space by removing the need for conventional photomultiplier tubes that are typically very bulky, fragile and require high voltages to operate.
A novel attitude control system developed by the Dynamics and Control Group in the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering is being implemented as an on-board software experiment. A spacecraft's "attitude" is its orientation in space. In this case it will use the Earth's magnetic field to turn itself in any desired direction. The UCD control technique is called "Wave-Based Control" (WBC). EIRSAT-1 will use a standard control system initially. At some time into the mission, in response to an instruction from Earth, the on-board computer will start using WBC to control the satellite's attitude, thereby evaluating its performance and qualifying WBC for space flight.
EMOD stands for 'ENBIO MODule'. This is an experiment to see how protective coatings made by ENBIO Ltd. in Ireland, perform in space. EMOD consists of two black panels and two white panels which will have their temperature monitored throughout the mission.
The ADM contains two UHF and two VHF antenna elements for communications, and a coarse sun sensor for pointing.