Miniaturized Solar Extreme Ultraviolet Probe for CubeSat Missions

  • 祖維 曹

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The PHOENIX satellite is a 2-U CubeSat that has been developed at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) as a unit of the QB50 mission, which is an international space collaboration coordinated by the von Karman Institute. One of the main objectives of the QB50 mission is to carry out the in-situ measurements at the lower thermosphere which is rarely explored in traditional satellite missions. The PHOENIX CubeSat is to fulfill the above goal by accommodating following payloads: an Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer, Thermistors, and a Solar Extreme Ultraviolet Probe (SEUV Probe) which was developed in this study. The solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation is the main energy source in the thermosphere. Accurate knowledge of this radiation is of prime importance for space weather, satellite drag, telecommunication and positioning. The photoelectric current from 4 planar copper-based electrodes plated with gold and tin are produced by energetic EUV photons. The electrodes with different metal plating can be used to eliminate the current contributed by the environmental space plasma. Two sets of electrodes (a gold one and a tin one each set) are located on different orientations of the PHOENIX CubeSat, thus the photoelectric current caused by the different normal components on the electrode surface can help to determine the inclination angle of the Sun. Therefore the SEUV Probe can also act as an auxiliary device of the sun sensor and Attitude Determination and Control System. The functional and scientific performance tests of the SEUV probe have been done in the plasma chamber and reported in this thesis. With the feature of low power consumption, compact and lightweight, SEUV probe can satisfy the requirements of not only the QB50 but also further CubeSat missions, and can be utilized in sounding balloon and rocket experiments.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBing-Chih Chen (Supervisor)


  • solar extreme ultraviolet
  • thermosphere
  • PHOENIX CubeSat
  • photoelectron current
  • plasma current

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