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Figure 6 | EPJ Quantum Technology

Figure 6

From: CubeSat quantum communications mission

Figure 6

Deorbit analysis for a 10 kg 6U CubeSat in minimum drag configuration. As atmospheric drag depends strongly on solar activity and consequent atmospheric expansion, we calculate orbital lifetimes for consecutive minimum (very low intensity, solar max of 140SFU), average (moderate intensity, solar max of 190SFU) or maximum (high intensity, solar max of 230SFU) solar cycles following the current solar cycle. An extended period of no solar activity, much like the Maunder Minimum event, is included for completeness. The representative solar cycles used herein were derived from historical solar cycle data. The ISS orbit varies and is periodically reboosted with orbit raising manoeuvres to combat orbital decay, the range of altitudes is indicated by the dashed horizontal lines and is derived from the standard operating altitudes of the ISS and are thus subject to change.

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