CubeSats have become big players in space exploration. Their small size and relatively low cost have made them popular choices for commercial launches in recent years, but the process to propel such satellites in space comes with a number of problems.
Technology was developed to address one of those key problems: the uncertainty of the ignition system that initiates the propulsion system of the CubeSats. Current ignition systems are unreliable and can be subject to significant and irreversible damage during the lifespan of the satellite.
The new lower-energy triggering technology uses nanosecond-long pulses that allow the ignition and propulsion systems to function reliably for a very long time. The ignition system was tested successfully for more than 1.5 million pulses; it remained operational and almost intact after the test.
Overall popularity of the CubeSats is heavily driven by the great advancement in miniaturization of electronic components and sensors that allows for new kinds of space missions and measurements using a CubeSat. This new technology would provide a robust propulsion system for necessary maneuvering and station-keeping duties.
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