Test of HAN propellant for CubeSats

One of the challenges for CubeSat is efficient change of orbits, which would enable them to perform important tasks: hunting space debris, choosing remote sensing sites, cooperation with other partners. Dalian University of Technology launched a 12U CubeSat Dalian-1 Lianli with 17kg, Chinese company Cosats Co. Ltd. as the provider of Deployer, HAN Thruster, etc., which successfully tested for the first time the green propellant HAN (Hydroxylamine Nitrate) as the possible future answer for the manoeuvring capabilities of small satellites. HAN propellant replaces very toxic Hydrazine.

Dalian-1 Lianli was stored 253 days in orbit and successfully released into orbit from the Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft on January 18, 2024.

The orbit test showed that the propulsion system has a rated output thrust of 0.5N and a total impulse of 500Ns, enabling it to perform orbit control tasks for the satellite in both steady-state and pulse modes. Telemetry data indicated that the engine has been operating normally on orbit, and many orbit-raising operations have been initiated respectively, with the engine operating for duration of 1s, 5s, 60s, and 120s. The orbit has been lifted from a perigee of 325.7km and an apogee of 352.6km on February 26th at 02:00:00 Beijing time to a perigee of 340.7km and an apogee of 373.2km on February 29th at 02:00:00 Beijing time, resulting in an average orbital height increase of approximate 18km (considering an orbital decay of approximate 1km per day, the actual orbital height increase would exceed 20km). Currently, theĀ  orbit raising is undertaking.

Aboard Dalian-1 is a high-resolution multiple spectrum camera, which produced successfully remote photos of Earth (Dalian University of Technology) and the resolution is less than 1m of and 4-meter of multiple spectrum.




Dalian University of Technology Stadium pictured by Dalian 1-Lianli