DISCO-2 Satellite

Name DISCO-2 (DISCO-II, Danish Student CubeSat Program)
Form factor CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Status not launched, expected in 2024
Launcher Falcon 9, (Transporter-12), (Momentus)
Organisation Aarhus University
Institution University
Entity Academic / Education
Country Denmark
Manufacturer AIVT by Space Inventor
Launch brokerer Momentus
Partners Danish Partnership for Space Related Educations, The Danish Industry Foundation, Aalborg University, University of Southern Denmark, IT University of Copenhagen

Flying student experiments for in-orbit testing.


Flying student experiments for in-orbit testing. This will give the students the opportunity to test their work on an operational satellite and thereby link theory and practice.

A 3U CubeSat DISCO-2 is the second satellite in the Danish Student CubeSat Program DISCO, where more that 100 students gain experience with satellite communication. As part of DISCO our students have built and operated more than 10 ground stations.

The main mission of DISCO-2 is to monitor the effect of climate changes in and around Greenland. Here the students are working on two innovative approaches: 1) Dynamic 3D reconstructions of glaciers through photogrammetry. Here the ADCS will allow the students to image the glaciers from different angles thereby providing them with the possibility to construct a 3D model of the glaciers. This model can be used to estimate the melting mass of glaciers. 2) Measuring temperature gradients between the north and south facing sides of fjords. This will be done with an infrared camera operating around 10.000 nm. To succeed in this mission, we need to be able to have a high downlink bandwidth.

DISCO-2 will be launched into a polar orbit at an altitude between 500 - 600 km. The satellite shall deliver bandwidth limited data rates using S-band communications for downlink. A UHF redundancy system ensures omnidirectional communications for mission critical communication (up and downlink) and basic telemetry data downlink.

The mission payload will consist of two optical cameras with different fields of view, an optional IR camera, and an interface and processing board that will bridge to the radio and on-board computer.

The ADCS will deliver satellite pointing accuracy (~1 degree) well within the field of view of the cameras and can be used in ground spot tracking mode, solar power optimization mode (sun tracking) and more. After commissioning of the DISCO-2 it will be subscribed to SagNOGS for downloading of beacons over UHF and images over S-band. We will make a dedicated webpage (likely on GitHub) that will contain information on how to decode the beacons and images. For DISCO-2 we will utilize the experience gained from DISCO-1 on engaging with the radio amateur community. 

Developed under the Danish Partnership for Space Related Educations and supported by The Danish Industry Foundation. The educational institutions in the partnership are Aarhus University (AU) as Project Owner, Aalborg University (AAU), University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and IT University of Copenhagen (ITU).

Sources [1] [2]
Photo sources [1]
COTS subsystems
  • PLATFORM - Space Inventor
Subsystems sources [1]

Last modified: 2023-12-10

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Created by Erik Kulu

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