Tyvak Endeavor Platform – Image: Tyvak Nano Satellite Systems

NanoACE is a technology demonstration mission by California-based Tyvak Nano Satellite Systems to validate the company’s Endeavor suite technology that will be used for future operational missions. The mission is solely for the purpose of internal development at Tyvak, focused on attitude control, CubeSat propulsion, data handling, and visible / IR camera equipment.

NanoACE is a 3U CubeSat weighing around 5.2 Kilograms and measuring 10 x 10 x 30 centimeters in size when launching, deploying four solar panels, each 10 x 30 cm, that release from the satellite side panels. The satellite uses an aluminum skeleton and side panels, holding in place the various printed circuit boards that facilitate all the craft’s subsystems and payloads. Li-Ion batteries are used for power storage and attitude determination is primarily accomplished by a pair of star trackers; actuation is provided by a nano-Reaction Wheel Array with three wheels, three integrated torque coils and the cold gas propulsion system.

NanoACE is a propulsive CubeSat hosting a cold gas propulsion system developed by VACCO Industries and tested extensively up to over 70,000 firing by the U.S. Air Force Research lab. The system uses 420 grams of R236f, a common refrigerant, stored in liquid form inside a tank at 4.6 bar from where it is fed to eight thrusters at the corners of the satellite. The NanoACE payload houses two IR, two visible cameras, and electronics for image processing.

Tyvak describes its Endeavor Platform as follows:

Tyvak designed its Endeavor products to provide cutting-edge capabilities for 3U-and-larger missions. With the current ability for 12U missions, Tyvak provides the ultimate flexibility in satellite technology.

High Power
Precision attitude knowledge and control
Radiation-tolerant avionics
High communication data rates
Fault handling and autonomy