WISA Woodsat was tested at ESTEC

Press Release 9.7.2021 15:00 EEST

WISA Woodsat satellite was put through rigorous tests during this week at ESTEC, the technical centre of the European Space Agency located in the Netherlands. The world’s first wooden satellite is now certified for a rocket ride and the final pre-launch phase can begin.

The model used for the tests was an exact copy of the actual satellite to be launched to space. The satellite was subjected to a rigorous vibration test, mimicking a ride to space atop of a rocket shaken by the engines. The satellite also faces hard acoustic noise from the engines accentuated by aerodynamic forces around the fairing.

According to WISA Woodsat mission manager Jari Mäkinen, the structure and the plywood panels of the satellite resisted the forces well, as expected, and can endure the spaceflight from the vibration point of view. Only a minor mechanical problem occurred as two screws of the deployable camera boom loosened during the forceful shaking.

“These tests are done precisely for finding hiding problems. Everything must be tested to a tee because design faults can’t be repaired after launch. The detected fault will be analyzed and fixed promptly as the deployable camera used to monitor the satellite is a vital feature”, says Mäkinen.

The WISA Woodsat team consists of members from UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics, Huld and European Space Agency. The latter provides a sensor package for analysing the behaviour of the plywood panels.

The world’s first wooden satellite, WISA Woodsat, is scheduled to be launched to orbit by the end of 2021 from the Mahia Peninsula launch complex in New Zealand. WISA Woodsat’s space journey can be followed online and on social media channels.

WISA WOODSAT™ online: wisawoodsat.space
WISA WOODSAT™ Instagram and Twitter: @wisawoodsat

For further information please contact:
Jari Mäkinen, tel. +358 40 550 9198 / jari (at) kitsat.fi
Ari Voutilainen, tel. +358 40 6719995 / ari.voutilainen (at) upm.com

Pictures and video for mediahttps://materialhub.upm.com/l/bH9_mdR7TTTB
Photos from the testing and the mission in general: https://www.flickr.com/photos/arcticastronautics/

UPM, Media Relations
Mon-Fri 9:00-16:00 EET
tel. +358 40 588 3284

About WISA Woodsat
WISA Woodsat is the world’s first satellite using wood in its primary structure. It is made of WISA-Birch plywood, which is coated against strong UV radiation using a new atomic layer deposition method. The comparison panels are coated with industrial UV lacquer. WISA Woodsat will be launched to space from New Zealand using Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. The mission is exploring the behavior of plywood in space for a period of two years. The countdown to WISA Woodsat’s launch can be followed on the mission website wisawoodsat.space and in social media channels with the handles @wisawoodsat and #wisawoodsat.

UPM Plywood
UPM Plywood offers high quality WISA® plywood and veneer products for construction, vehicle flooring, LNG shipbuilding, parquet manufacturing and other industrial applications. In 2020 UPM Plywood sales was EUR 400 million and it had 2,100 employees. UPM has five plywood mills and one veneer mill in Finland as well as plywood mills in Russia and Estonia. – www.wisaplywood.com

WISA, WISA WOODSAT and WOODSAT are trademarks of UPM Plywood.

We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 18,000 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 8.6 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils. www.upm.com

Follow UPM on Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | #UPM #biofore #beyondfossils

Arctic Astronautics
Arctic Astronautics is a start-up from Finland, which has created the Kitsat educational satellite and the related STEM teaching material package. Kitsat is a fully functional one-unit CubeSat, specifically made for educational use with earthly components. It can be also used for stratospheric flights or easily upgraded with space-qualified parts into a qualified satellite, as demonstrated with WISA Woodsat(TM). Arctic Astronautics graduated from the European Space Agency's Business Incubation Center in Finland in 2020. – www.arcticastronautics.fi

Huld is a European technology design house with experience from the space industry since 1989. It is now also reaching out to the New Space industry combining software and testing knowhow with tailor-made additive manufacturing mechanisms and out-of-the-box thinking. Huld provides the additively manufactured deployable camera boom and related structures for the mission. – huld.io