CurrentIKAROS Small Scale Solar Powered Sail Demonstration Satellite

IKAROS to evaluate the performance of the solar power sails. It can become a “hybrid” engine that is combined with photon acceleraion to realize fuel-effective and flexible missions.

Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa2 Venus Climate Orbiter Akatsuki

This is a small scale demonstration satellite that uses solar power generated via thin film solar cells attached to its sail, called a solar sail because it captures the sun’s energy to propel itself. This experiment verified that the satellite could be accelerated with solar power while it was also possible to control the trajectory of the satellite with LCD devices, etc. and verify navigational technology that made use of the solar sail.

In addition to its solar sail which works by capturing solar power in its sail for propulsion, IKAROS was developed for verifying the functionality of a solar powered sail which also generates solar power via thin film solar cells attached to a sail.
IKAROS was launched on the 21st of May in 2010 on an H-IIA rocket, the satellite was directed by the centrifugal force of its 14 m square sail in space, and it was confirmed that it produced power using thin film solar cells. Trajectory control was also performed by adjusting the direction of the sail through LCD devices, etc. while at the same time verifying acceleration using solar power and navigational technology using the solar sail was obtained. These were all remarkable firsts in the world.

International Designation code 2010-020E
Objectives 1.Extension and deployment of a large membrane
2.Power generation by thin film solar cells
3.Acceleration by a solar sail
4.Acquisition of navigation technology by a solar sail
Launch Date 06:58, May 21, 2010 (JST)
Launch Location Tanegashima Space Center
Launch Vehicle H-IIA-17
Weight about 310 kg
Shape Configuration :
Diameter 1.6m x Height 0.8m
Membrane shape :
14m x 14m square (after deployment)