Falcon-9 Transporter 2 launched with 16 of our sun sensors on board - 15 MAUSes and 1 BiSon64-ET
The BiSon64-ET is the first sun sensor to be qualified for ESA in over 15 years.With a qualification temperature range of -125°C..+125°C it is the two-axis sun sensor with the widest temperature range in the world.The only radiation-hardened Solar Sensor using diodes developed in Europe and tested up to 4E14 1MeV electrons (at the reactor institute in Delft).The combination of temperature range and radiation hardness makes the sensors suitable for more than 25 years in a GEO stationary orbit while mounted on solar panels.
The BiSon64-ET (and its daffodilised brother the BiSon64-ET-B) are therefore unique products that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Based on this sensor, the MAUS was developed at the request of ISISpace (and some other serious small satellite builders).This sensor uses the same radiation-hardened diodes and sapphire windows and therefore has almost the same radiation resistance.Unlike the BiSon, the MAUS is based on a so-called nano-D connector as a result of which it has a lower mounting height and is therefore better suited for cubesats.
The combination of radiation-hardened diodes and a nano-D connector has led to the world's first radiation-hardened dual-axis cubesat sun sensor.Both products have now gone airborne for the first time which is truly unique.Furthermore, together with Systematic Design b.v. we have started the redesign of a special chip that should lead to a miniaturised digital sun sensor.The redesign was not necessary because the first design would not work, but because it contained a number of known weaknesses for cosmic rays due to the limited financial resources available.
The evaluation of the first design by ESA was so good that there was no longer any doubt about the chosen working principle. Therefore, to avoid wasting money and to speed up the whole project, it was decided to start a redesign using all known techniques to improve the radiation hardness.If this development is successful (demonstrator expected end of 2022) then in all likelihood it will become the first commercially available small digital sun sensor worldwide.