Delivery of PORT Payload for CUAVA-2

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The Perovskites in Orbit Readiness Test (PORT) Payload has been delivered to CUAVA in preparation for its integration onto the CUAVA-2 Satellite. This delivery marks an exciting major milestone in our CUAVA-2 mission, set to launch in early 2024.

Designed by the University of Sydney Space Solar Cell Research Team, led by Anita Ho-Baillie, Laura Granados, Tiaan Stals, Arafat Mahmud, David McKenzie, and Iver Cairns, the PORT payload seeks to be the first demonstration of the capabilities of functional perovskite solar cells in extra-terrestrial environments. If successful, this mission will pave the way for accessible high-performance space-grade solar cells.

Image: Flight model of PORT-1 for CUAVA-2

The PORT payload is designed to increase the Technical Readiness Level for the system, evaluate the efficacy of different encapsulation techniques, and gain flight heritage for the cell and encapsulation combination.

The payload consists of two PCB boards. The first (SMU PCB) measures the current-voltage characteristics of the cells and is housed internally. The second board (Solar PCB) features eight perovskite cells, all positioned on an exterior-facing panel. The SMU PCB board incorporates an analogue front end designed to sweep the IV curves of the individual cells, process data, and communicate with the Onboard Computer (OBC) via an onboard MCU.

The PORT payload operates at 5V @ 100mA and the cells will be scanned every 30 seconds, generating approximately 20kb of data for all eight cells during each scan (equivalent to 2.4Mb per hour). By closely monitoring the performance of the solar cells and collecting their data, we can better understand their behaviour and make improvements as necessary.

We now commence integration into the CUAVA-2 CubeSat, in preparation for launch in early 2024. Congratulations to the Space Solar Cell Research Team!

Keep up to date with our news and events blog as we spotlight CUAVA-2 payload deliveries.