Why fold a cubesat?
Binar is what we call a 1U cubesat – that means a cube, 10cm on each side. Being a standard shape means it’s easy to fit in a rack to get us our ride to space.
But being a cube also means it’s easy to fold out of paper. We’ve combined our actual design files with a standard folding paper ‘net’ to create a model you can fold yourself.
While our paper cubesats aren’t going to orbit any time soon, they would make a great addition to your bedroom or classroom.
Our real cubesat folds too.
Binar-2, 3 & 4 fold for real – they’re equipped with deployable solar panels, which double the amount of power our cubesat has available to do science.
They’re powered by a shape memory alloy, or SMA, which changes shape when we heat it up using Binar’s batteries. That lets us avoid using hinges and motors, which can be unreliable in space.
(If you’re curious, you can read more about Kyle’s SMA research here)