CanX-7 nanosatellite deploys drag sails, begins deorbiting demonstration

After collecting over 4.3 million Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) messages from aircraft since it launched in September 2016, the 3.5 kilogram 10x10x34cm CanX-7 nanosatellite has deployed its four drag sails, the company said.

The drags sails, each with an area of approximately one square meter, are intended to decrease the ballistic coefficient of the satellite and use atmospheric drag to accelerate orbital decay.

CanX-7 was built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS).

During this final phase of the CanX-7 mission, the deorbiting process will be closely monitored via the SFL ground station in Toronto. Orbital decay rate will be determined and compared against pre-launch simulation results.

SFL builds small, lower cost satellites with advanced power systems, stringent attitude control, and high-volume data capacity .