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Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail)

   
 

E-sail projects

   
   

 

ESAIL EU FP7 project

The ESAIL EU FP7 project (2011-2013) develops laboratory prototypes (TRL 4-5) of the key components of the E-sail. The project involves five countries, nine institutes and has a budget of about 1.7 million euros.



ESTCube-1 satellite

The ESTCube-1 satellite was launched on May 7 2013 to polar sun-synchronous 667 km orbit from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. ESTCube-1 is a 1U CubeSat and Estonia's first satellite. Its main task is to measure the strength of the E-sail effect in low Earth orbit. ESTCube-1 will deploy a 10 m long tether and charge it up which allows us to measure the E-sail force exerted on the tether by the ionospheric ram flow acting on the satellite. We use the ionospheric ram flow as a substitute for the solar wind to be able to measure the E-sail effect (Coulomb drag) at low cost in low Earth orbit.

The progress of the ESTCube-1 mission can be followed on its Facebook page.

ESTCube-1 delivered to launch provider in January 2013

Vega lifting off from rainy Kourou on May 7, 2013


Aalto-1 student satellite project

There will be a 100 m long test tether onboard the Aalto-1 satellite, to be launched in 2014.