AEOLDOS is lightweight, foldable ‘aerobrake' for CubeSats and small satellites. Once the spacecraft has reached the end of its operational life, the lightweight aerobrake, made from a thin membrane supported by tape measure-like struts, springs open to generate aerodynamic drag against the extremely thin upper atmosphere that still exists in near-Earth space. As the satellite falls out of orbit the aerodynamic effects increase, causing the satellite to harmlessly burn up during its descent. This ensures that it does not become another piece of potentially harmful space debris.
AEOLDOS is an off-the-shelf standard product developed by the University of Glasgow and Clyde Space, and offered for sale by Clyde Space. Flight ready versions are expected to be available from the end of 2013. Please contact Clyde Space for more information.