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TUPEX-5: Examination of the Separation Behaviour of a Picosatellite Swarm
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TUPEX is a se­ries of flight ex­per­i­ments for ver­i­fi­ca­tion of new­ly de­vel­oped satel­lite tech­nolo­gies. TUPEX stands for „TU Berlin Pico- and Nano­satel­lite Ex­per­i­ment“. So far, three ex­per­i­ments (TUPEX-1, -2, -3) aboard sound­ing rock­ets dur­ing REXUS cam­paigns of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) as well as one ex­per­i­ment (TUPEX-4) dur­ing a parabol­ic flight cam­paign of the DLR were con­duct­ed.

Dummy picosatellites in separation mechanism
Dummy picosatellites in separation mechanism

With TUPEX-5 was in­ves­ti­gated how minia­tur­ized satel­lites with a mass of about 330 grams in con­di­tions of weight­less­ness sep­a­rate from each other af­ter they have been re­leased si­mul­ta­ne­ously from a shared sep­a­ra­tion mech­a­nism. With the ex­per­i­ment the cur­rent de­sign of these satel­lites has been ver­i­fied. The knowl­edge gained will be used for fu­ture pico­satel­lite swarms of TU Berlin.

Dummy picosatellites in free flight
Dummy picosatellites in free flight

The joint para­bolic flight cam­paign of CNES, DLR and ESA was con­duc­ted by Novespace in Bordeaux-Mérignac (France) from 27 April to 8 May 2015. For three days, a total of 93 para­bolas, each with about 22 sec­onds of weight­less­ness, were flown by an Airbus A310.

The ex­­per­i­ment was car­ried out in co­oper­a­tion with AI: Aerospace Institute with a shared test­ing equip­ment and was fund­ed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The sep­a­ra­tion mech­a­nism was pro­vided by Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH.


  • Wolf, R.; Korn, N.; Baumann, F.; Brieß, K. (2015). TUPEX-5: Untersuchung des Separationsverhaltens eines Picosatellitenschwarms im Rahmen einer Parabelflugkampagne. Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress (DLRK), Rostock, 22.–24.9.


  • Picosatelliten erfolgreich getestet (12.5.2015) [more...]

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