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Space Technology 5 Will Test Multiple Technologies.

Space Technology 5 is testing multiple technologies that will support the success of future micro-sat missions. Each technology represents a breakthrough in performance, capability, or application in a new and unique manner:

Technologies diagram

Image above: Artist's concept of Space Technology 5's microsat components. Image credit: NASA

Goddard Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC)
The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Mission Services Evolution Center (GMSEC) mission is an integrated effort across multiple GSFC organizations to provide GSFC mission services through the year 2010.
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Communications Components for Small Spacecraft
The X-Band Transponder Communications System was provided by AeroAstro. The transponder system is a miniaturized digital communications transponder. It provides coherent uplink-to-downlink operation that provides a ground-to-space command capability, space-to-ground telemetry capability, and a radio frequency tracking capability. The X-Band weighs approximately 1/12th as much and is 1/9th the volume of communications systems now used in other missions.
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Lithium-Ion Power System for Small Satellites
The Low-Voltage Power System uses a low-weight Li-Ion battery with triple junction solar cells that can store up to four times as much energy as their Ni-Cad counterparts. The Li-Ion rechargeable battery has a longer life and doesn't remember how much it has been discharged prior to recharging.
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Ultra Low-Power Demonstration
The CULPRiT is a new type of microelectronic device that allows circuits to operate at 0.5 Volts. The technology will greatly reduce power consumption while achieving a radiation tolerance of ~100kRad total dose and latch-up immunity.

Variable Emittance Coatings for Thermal Control
The Variable Emittance Coatings, provided by AFRL and the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), are used for thermal control and consist of an electrically tunable coating that can change properties, from absorbing heat when cool to reflecting or emitting heat when in the Sun. The Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) chip is part of this technology.

Propulsion Systems Components
A miniature microthruster that provides fine attitude adjustments on the spacecraft. The Cold Gas Microthruster (CGMT) is a tiny electromechanical system designed by Marotta Scientific Controls, Inc. to provide fine attitude adjustments on each of the micro-sats. It uses 1/8th the power and weighs only half as much as attitude control systems being used in other missions.

Other Technologies
+ Miniature magnetometer
+ Miniature spinning sun sensor
+ Spacecraft deployment mechanism
+ Magnetometer deployment boom
+ Nutation damper

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NASA Official: Brian Dunbar
Last Updated: March 8, 2006
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