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The MiniEUSO telescope launched

Baiknonur Cosmodrome, August 22nd: The Soyuz MS-14 launched from the Baiknonur Cosmodrome succesfully brought in orbit the MiniEUSO (Multiwavelength Imaging New Instrument of Extreme Universe Space Observatory) telescope designed to make night observations of the UV light cosmic radiation. The telescope will be mounted in front of the UV-transparent window in the Russian module Zvezda in the ISS, looking toward the Earth. The telescope is developed by the Physics Department of the University of Rome Tor Vergata in cooperation with the Roscosmos Russian Space Agency. Kayser Italia provided the support to the instrumentation space engineering and was responsible of the  environmental testing campaign. The instrument includes a compact telescope with a wide field of view based on Fresnel lenses that allows to increase the collection of light; it is assisted by two ancillary chambers in the visible and near infrared. UV light is focused on a light collection module similar to the EUSO-Balloon and EUSO-TA experiments. The main objectives of Mini-EUSO are the study of atmospheric phenomena, transient luminous events, meteors, the search for Strange Quark Matter and the detection of cosmic ray cascades.


Biorock experiment on the next SpaceX -CRS18

Cape Canaveral, July 20th , 2019. The team of Kayser Italia at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the nex launch of the experiment BIOROCK with the SpaceX- CRS18. The experiment, run by a research team from the University of Edinburgh in the UK, with the support of Kayser Italia will test how altered states of gravity affect biofilm formation on the International Space Station. Microbes are able to weather down a rock from which they can extract ions. This natural process enables biomining, in which useful metals are extracted from rock ores. Already a common practice on Earth, biomining will eventually take place on the Moon, Mars and asteroids as we expand our understanding and exploration of the Solar System. In the meantime, microbes will be used for many other processes that involve microbial growth on rocks, such as making soil.


SEAM 2.0 in orbit

Vostochny (Russia), July 5th, 2019 – The Soyuz-2.1b rocket launched by the cosmodrome of Vostochny successfully brought in orbit “SEAM”, a cubesat class satellite aiming to demonstrate new technologies capabilities. The mission used a Fregat upper stage to deploy a total of 33 satellites on three different orbits.

The SEAM 2.0 mission, led by Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, succeeded after the failing mission in 2017.

SEAM will conduct measurements of magnetic and electric fields in the ionosphere, a layer in Earth’s upper atmosphere where auroras are generated. The SEAM spacecraft is also a pathfinder for the design of future small-scale European science missions.

Kayser Italia contributed to the SEAM project with the engineering and the manufacturing of a central deployable boom supporting magnetic and electrical field sensors other than a star tracker unit. Thanks to this technology the cubesat S/C can make use of booms supporting sensors up to 1 meter from the main body.

Kayser Italia and the whole international team remain waiting for the first radio contact.

(Picture: SEAM deployed boom)




The Portable Power Supply mkII on board ISS

PPS mkII developed by Kayser Italia

Kayser Italia announces that the Portable Power Supply mkII is now ready for utilization on the ISS. The launch occurred on 4th of May 2019 on board of SpaceX CRS-17 and with the Falcon 9 rocket.

PPS mkII has been developed by Kayser Italia as subcontractor of AIRBUS DS within a European Space Agency funded project.

The Portable PWR Supply is an autonomous converter unit to distribute 28VDC and USB 5V to one or more payloads (up to four) and taking the upstream power from 120VDC provided by ISS Columbus Module Standard Unit Panel (SUP). The PPS mkII is the extended version of the Portable Power Supply (PPS; previously named KuPS) which have already flown on the ISS since 2011. Maintaining the full compatibility with PPS, the PPS MkII extends the capabilities by a LAN connection to send to Ground data reporting the status of the power supply, using a Web GUI, and two USB connection for chargeable devices or small payloads, increasing the portable power supply versatility. The main goal of PPS and PPS mkII is to simplify the power interface for small payloads to be operated on-board the ISS maintaining the required safety level.

PPS MkII is composed by a metal box containing all the required electronic parts and provided of interface connectors, on/off manual switches and autonomous cooling system (forced air convection). In addition, PPS MkII provides its own input cables necessary to connect it to SUP outlet connectors (120VDC) and to Hirschmann Octopus LAN switch for the LAN connection.

PPS mkII core is a DC\DC converter for main power conversion from 120V to 28V. The input of the converter is managed by an input board which implements all filtering and safety functions on the power line coming from the ISS SUP. One of these functions is the interruption of power, through thermal switches, in case the temperature of the device become too high and can create problem for astronauts touching PPS during nominal operations on-board.

The Output line of the DC\DC converter is managed by an output board which convert the power for the 5V lines and implements all the protections and safety functions on power outlet (i.e.: interruption of power in case of overcurrent).

The PPS mkII microcontroller software has the scope to implement a data exchange interface between PPS mkII and ground via an Ethernet link through a web-based interface. The scope of the link is to receive the status of the power supply visualizing some parameters (currents, voltages, temperatures).

 PPS mkII interface for status visualization