TNO Uses Graphite Fiber Thermal Straps on CubeSat
By Tyler Link on Fri, Dec 18, 2020 @ 10:52 AM
Pictured: TNO’s CubeCAT laser communications terminal with multiple GFTS® assemblies mounted (image credit: TNO).
TAI is proud to report our Graphite Fiber Thermal Strap (GFTS®) products are now being used for the first time on a CubeSat mission. While TAI's X-Series® PGL® straps are already being used for CubeSat missions in the US and Europe, this marks a new milestone for our flagship graphite product.
The 8 custom units designed by TAI's Design Engineer, and manufactured & tested by our Quality Manager and Technicians, are being delivered to the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), this week. While PGS and Copper-based thermal straps provided adequate thermal performance for TNO's application, GFTS® products were the only acceptable strap solution for the program, offering a combination of low mass, high thermal performance, and 3-axes of flexibility (in a straight installation configuration), not found in any other strap product.
Pictured: GFTS® assemblies in their shipping fixtures (December 2020).
The thermal straps are being used for passive temperature regulation as part of an IOD opportunity for TNO’s CubeSAT laser communication terminal known as ‘CubeCAT’ that well be launched in 2021 for DTE (direct to earth) communication with an optical ground station in Den Haag (the Netherlands).
CubeCAT is a compact, high-performance laser communication terminal for use in CubeSats and small satellites. This unique instrument is designed with the dual goals of simplicity and ease of use in mind. The system is ideal for commercial CubeSat applications, with modest size and power requirements (and no licensing requirements), and, perhaps more importantly, also meets the increasing need for high data rates in small satellites, via offering a larger data rate with a small volume terminal.
The CubeCAT instrument is part of the CubeCAT Lasercom system and is the result of a joint effort by TNO and Hyperion Technologies
Pictured: GFTS® units in mylar sleeves.
The TAI team is proud to be a part of this revolutionary program, and want to thank our friends at TNO for their continued business!