ESA title
Safety & Security


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ESA / Safety & Security / Hera

DustCube (University of Vigo, Micos Engineering GmbH, University of Bologna). A CubeSat to measure the size, shape and concentration of fine dust ejected in the aftermath of the collision and its evolution over time.

The Cubesat will be deployed at a distance of 2-4 km from the surface of Didymoon. By studying the ejecta plume after impact the mineralogical composition of the dust cloud can be determined and the size and shape of the dust can be studied using the remote and in-situ nephelometers.

Specification of the payload:


Two nephelometers (device to measure the concentration of suspended particulates in a liquid or gas colloid):

In-situ (INH)


Remote (RNH)

  • Field of view: 2°, 500 × 500 pixels
  • Angular resolution: 0.003°

Specifications of the design:

  • Units: 1 × 3U
  • Size: 100x100x340 mm
  • Weight: 4.5 kg
  • Power generation: 5W
  • Heritage: Xatcobeo and HumsatD with Attitude and Orbit Control Systems (AOCS) for 3-axis pointing
  • Solar panels: 4 non-deployable
  • Propulsion: cold gas or pulsed plasma thruster for 1 m/s delta-v, spin stabilisation

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