On December 22 at 2.15 PM, Iaroslav Iakubivskyi will defend his PhD dissertation "Nanospacecraft for technology demonstration and science missions". A successful defence will gain him a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Tartu. The defence will take place both in person at Tartu Observatory in Tõravere and virtually.
Dr Andris Slavinskis, Tartu Observatory, University of Tartu
Dr Mihkel Pajusalu, Tartu Observatory, University of Tartu
Dr Mart Noorma, Tartu Observatory, University of Tartu
Dr Lorenzo Niccolai, Università di Pisa
Dr Rauno Gordon, Tallinn University of Technology
Humans have been observing and exploring the cosmos for millennia, yet space missions enabled in-situ examination only during the last 64 years. Artiﬁcial satellites enable opportunities unfeasible for ground-based studies, such as landing on other planetary bodies, sample return, close observations of comets and asteroids, and improved observations of galaxies, solar systems, exoplanets, etc. Historically, space missions were operated by large space agencies, but in the last twenty years, the ﬁeld expanded to small enterprises, universities and practically anyone interested in launching a satellite. This was partially enabled by the standardisation of cubesats, typically 1–10 kg nanosatellites. The author of this dissertation has contributed to the miniaturisation of planetary missions and instruments by developing missions, mission concepts, payloads and simulation tools that commit to the long-term aims of cosmic exploration with nanospacecraft. The ﬁrst part of the thesis focuses on innovative technology for space travel – Coulomb Drag Propulsion. It can be utilised to remove space debris from Low Earth Orbit (named plasma brake) or travel in space without carrying the propellant from the Earth (named E-sail). This propulsion is accommodated on the ESTCube-2 and FORESAIL-1 satellites, to be launched soon. The dissertation also analyses the concept of visiting hundreds of asteroids with a ﬂeet of cubesats driven by E-sail. The second part of the thesis presents an ongoing camera development for the ESA-JAXA Comet Interceptor mission to be launched in 2029 by the Ariane 6 rocket. The camera is equipped with a periscope to protect it from a hazardous environment. It is therefore named Optical Periscopic Imager for Comets or OPIC shortly, also referring to the Estonian astronomer Ernst Öpik, who was the ﬁrst to propose the existence of a distant comet cloud around the Solar System, known today as the Öpik–Oort cloud. The development of the OPIC instrument is supported by a custom-made open-source simulation tool called SISPO, described in the last part.
Read the dissertation at DSpace.