ESTCube-2 is a technology demonstration mission for deorbiting technology plasma brake, the interplanetary propulsion system electric solar wind sail (E-sail) and advanced satellite subsystem solutions.
To test the plasma brake and the electric solar wind sail, commonly called Coulomb drag propulsion, the satellite will deploy and charge a 300 m long wire which is also called ‘tether’. By interacting with the ionospheric plasma, the plasma brake will be able to deorbit the satellite from 700 km altitude to 500 km in half a year.
Moreover, such an experiment will allow to prepare for more ambitious missions outside the Earth’s magnetosphere where the E-sail will be tested in its authentic environment -- the solar wind. The satellite bus which consists of electrical power system, communication system, on-board computer, and attitude control system is built and integrated to minimise the mass and volume. This allows to host additional payloads and use the satellite bus as a platform for other missions, for example, Earth observation and interplanetary.