Results tagged “cubesat”

Surrey engineers use games console technology to make "space building blocks", SSTL

"Space innovators at the University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) are developing 'STRaND-2', a twin-satellite mission to test a novel in-orbit docking system based upon XBOX Kinect technology that could change the way space assets are built, maintained and decommissioned. STRaND-2 is the latest mission in the cutting edge STRaND (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) programme, following on from the smartphone-powered STRaND-1 satellite that is near completion. Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the XBOX Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes."

CubeSats to NanoSats; Bridging the gap between educational tools and science workhorses, Aerospace Conference, 2012 IEEE

Since their initial development and launch in the early 2000's, the CubeSat platform has captured the imagination and energy of our next generation of spacecraft technologists around the world. Once thought of by the established space community as "toys" and educational novelties, the CubeSat has revolutionized the space-community and broken the acceptance barrier with proven development and on-orbit performance. Leveraging CalPoly's published specification, CubeSats have demonstrated the advantages of a common form factor that can be launched and deployed using a common deployment system by smashing the cost-to-orbit price-point while offering significant mission manifest flexibility. The challenge now lies in transitioning the strengths and success of the CubeSat to mainstream science investigations. While the CubeSat's successes combined with today's budget constraints have served to open the established space community to discussions of innovative ideas to reduce costs; it faces both perceived and real constraints related to mission applications, reliability, payload performance, communications, and operations. The CubeSat model must be evolved to penetrate the stigmas and applied appropriately to become an accepted tool in the world of mainstream science investigations. This paper identifies issues and presents potential solutions and lessons-learned regarding these issues based on several recent mission concept developments for potential real-world applications.

JAXA Cubesat Mission Update

SDS-4: End of Critical Phase Completed

"The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that the Small Demonstration Satellite-4 (SDS-4) completed its critical phase operations and moved to the initial phase. The SDS-4 was launched by the H-IIA F21 at 1:39 a.m. on May 18, 2012 (Japan Standard Time) as a secondary payload with the Global Change Observation Satellite 1st - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-1.)"

Flexure Engineering is creating the LunarCubes Working Group and LunarCubes workshops to promote the creation of a standard to facilitate the development of low cost, rapid development payloads that easily could be added to the many Lunar opportunities that will arise in the coming decades.

LunarCubes - The Next Frontier
October 4-6, 2012, Mountain View California
Call for Papers : June 1, 2012

To learn more go to:

U.S. Navy Seeks Cubesat Ideas

Novel CubeSat Payloads for Naval Space Missions, US Navy SBIR/STTR

"Nano-satellites are popular among universities and gaining momentum with commercial and government organizations. Standards based satellite buses and deployment mechanisms, such as the CubeSat and Poly Pico-satellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD), have stimulated growth in the area. Small satellites have proven capable and cost effective in many areas traditionally dominated by large satellites, however many challenges remain.

Beyond state of the art research is needed to drastically reduce the size, weight and power of payloads that have traditionally performed Naval space missions on much larger satellites. Traditional Naval space missions include narrowband communications (UHF Follow On, Mobile User Objective System), astrometry (Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey), and ocean sensing (GEOdetic SATellite, GEOSAT Follow On). Other missions of Naval interest will also be considered. Smaller, more cost effective satellites will enable the Navy to continue vital space missions despite limited resources."

Cubesats and Extrasolar Planets

How a Pocket-Size Satellite Could Find Another Earth, Time

What makes ExoplanetSat even more un-NASA-like is that it began as a class project -- although admittedly, the class was at MIT. It was a design-and-build course, which the university's engineering students have to take in order to graduate. In a recent semester, the class was co-taught by Sara Seager, an astrophysicist who has done groundbreaking research studying how the atmospheres of planets orbiting distant stars might look like from earthly telescopes. Seager recruited five science undergrads to join her engineers, on the theory that out in the real world, they'd eventually have to work with engineers anyway.

Cubesats at NSF

Cubesats "Land" at National Science Foundation on Thursday, May 24th

"What will it take for future cubesat projects to provide the crucial measurements from space needed to solve critical societal problems, such as climate change, land use and resource management, pollution and disaster monitoring, communication and space weather? On May 24, NSF will host an event titled: "Workshop to Explore the Utility of Cubesat Projects for Scientific Research and Technology Advances and STEM Education and Workforce Development." Scientists, engineers and educators will showcase their current NSF-funded cubesat science and engineering projects."

Partnership Opportunity Document for Edison Small Satellite Technology Demonstration Missions

"National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA)Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is considering multiple missions on Cubesat-class platforms to conduct technology demonstrations, which advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of these systems. Systems providing novel in-space primary propulsion as well as spacecraft to ground communication and spacecraft to spacecraft communication cross-links for Cubesats are of interest. GSFC teams will be submitting proposals to the Edison Small Satellite Technology Demonstration (Edison) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) in May 2012."

Orbital Debris and Cubesats

NASA Solicitation: Orbital Debris Mitigation Options for Cubesat Missions

"The objectives of this RFI are: 1) to invite industry to submit information that will allow NASA to assess various design alternatives for orbital debris mitigation options applicable to Cubesat missions in Low Earth Orbit (LEO); 2) to improve NASA's knowledge of industry's capability and viability; and 3) to improve the overall understanding of Cubesat mission designs consistent with NPR 8715.6A, NASA Procedural Requirements for Limiting Orbital Debris, NASA STD 8719.14, Process for Limiting Orbital Debris, and NASA Handbook 8719.14, Handbook for Limiting Orbital Debris."

NSF Seeks Cubesat Proposals

CubeSat-based Science Missions for Geospace and Atmospheric Research, NSF

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): May 07, 2012

Synopsis of Program: Lack of essential observations from space is currently a major limiting factor in many areas of geospace and atmospheric research. Recent advances in sensor and spacecraft technologies make it feasible to obtain key measurements from low-cost, small satellite missions. A particularly promising aspect of this development is the prospect for obtaining multi-point observations in space that are critical for addressing many outstanding problems in space and atmospheric sciences. Space-based measurements from small satellites also have great potential to advance discovery and understanding in geospace and atmospheric sciences in many other ways. To take full advantage of these developments, NSF is soliciting research proposals centered on small satellite missions.

The overarching goal of the program is to support the development, construction, launch, operation, and data analysis of small satellite science missions to advance geospace and atmospheric research. Equally important, it will provide essential opportunities to train the next generation of experimental space scientists and aerospace engineers.

To facilitate launch of the satellites as secondary payloads on existing missions, the focus of the program is on CubeSat-based satellites. Launch of the satellites will mainly be through the standardized CubeSat deployment system, the Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD). Launch of the P-PODS will be as auxiliary payloads on DOD, NASA, or commercial launches. This will be arranged after selection and is not part of this solicitation. This solicitation covers proposals for science missions to include satellite development, construction, testing and operation as well as data distribution and scientific analysis.

Testing New Software Via Nanosat

Innovative Nanosat Will Test Space Software

"How do you test ground-breaking satellite software under real flight conditions? Why not build a satellite? A new design developed by ESA promises new opportunities for European space industry to test software on an actual mission in space. The popular image of a 21st-century satellite includes a sleek design, gossamer solar arrays, ultra-high-tech components and cutting-edge digital electronics. And the onboard software must be the very latest thing, too, right? Wrong. Or, at least, the reality is much more prosaic: software used in satellites today is certainly good, but it rarely runs the latest operating systems, languages or interfaces. "Space software is generally older because it is selected for its proven, rock-solid reliability rather than its use of the latest and newest programming technologies," says Dave Evans, a mission concept engineer at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany. "ESA is still using the Packet Utilisation Standard to control our satellites, which was defined in 1994. "Today, the software for terrestrial computers has completely changed. Who else do you know still using software from 1994? Back then, PCs were running Windows 3.1 with 3.5-inch floppy disks."

NASA Solicitation: Scientific Payload for Multipoint Space Physics Measurements: Nansoat Cubesat

"NASA/ARC plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a minimum of 14 units, with options for up to 6 additional units, for a maximum of 20, identical flight-qualified payload instrument packages. These packages must be designed to interface with the Government-furnished EtherSat bus for the purpose of demonstrating distributed multipoint space physics measurements hosted by the Ethersat constellation. A provision of 25% spare parts/units (detailed in Delivery section of the draft Statement of Work) is additionally to be provided. One "engineering development unit"(EDU) (for evaluation purposes) is also to be delivered, near mid-term. The period of performance is to be less than 7 months total duration, with delivery required in November 2012 to meet NASA's satellite integration schedule."

Montana State University Cubesat A Success

MSU satellite surpasses goal; NASA taps MSU to queue up for another launch

"The Montana State University satellite that rode into space on a NASA rocket has now gathered information longer than the historic U.S. satellite it was built to honor, says the director of MSU's Space Science and Engineering Laboratory (SSEL). Almost four months after the Oct. 28 launch and shortly after learning that NASA selected another MSU satellite for possible launch on a NASA rocket next year, SSEL Director David Klumpar cheered as he suddenly realized that Montana's only satellite had collected data for 111 days as of Feb. 15. Since then, the satellite has well surpassed the entire 111-day mission of its history-making predecessor, Explorer-1, the first successful U.S. satellite."

More NASA Cubesat Selections

NASA Announces Third Round Of CubeSat Space Mission Candidates

"NASA has selected 33 small satellites to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2013 and 2014. The proposed CubeSats come from universities across the country, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, NASA field centers and Department of Defense organizations. CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh less than three pounds. The selections are from the third round of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. After launch, the satellites will conduct technology demonstrations, educational research or science missions. The selected spacecraft are eligible for flight after final negotiations and an opportunity for flight becomes available."

NASA Ames Cubesat Opportunity

NASA Notice: Scientific Payload for Multipoint Space Physics Measurements: Nanosat Cubesat

"This notice is to solicit information from the small satellite community. NASA is seeking sources to develop and deliver a low cost, 1/2U (10cmx5cmx10cm) scientific payload for multipoint space physics measurements on a NanoSat Spacecraft of 1.5U CubeSat form factor. Please see the attached "Draft" Statement of Work (SOW) for additional details regarding this future acquisition."

UKube-1 Final Design

UKube-1 final design approved

"The UK space Agency and Astrium have just approved the final design of UKube-1 - the UK's first CubeSat mission. On Thursday and Friday last week (3rd and 4th November 2011), a young team of engineers from Clyde Space presented their final design to a team of experts for the Critical Design Review (CDR) - the typical 'gateway' for space missions to proceed into the flight build and implementation phase. The CDR for Ukube-1 thus marks an important point in the development of the mission, establishing the robustness of the design, the level of technical risk and the schedule/resourcing for the completion of all the tasks to build the flight spacecraft."

ESA Cubs delivered for first Vega flight

"The first CubeSats to be sponsored by ESA's Education Office have been delivered to the agency's Space Technology and Research Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. The ESA CubeSat programme began on 28 May 2007, when Antonio Fabrizi, the Director of Launchers, and Rene Oosterlinck, the Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations, signed an agreement to include an educational payload on the maiden flight of the Vega launch vehicle. The announcement of opportunity issued by ESA's Education Office in February 2008 offered the possibility of launching up to nine university CubeSats free-of-charge on Europe's newest launcher."

Vermont Lunar Cubesat Project

CubeSat Documentary, Geek Mountain State

"A couple of weeks ago, we posted up a notification that Vermont Public Television would be airing a documentary on Vermont scientists working on a CubeSat project. Now, the documentary is online for your viewing pleasure" Watch video at UVM

NASA to Launch Vermont's CubeSat in 2012

"NASA's 2010 CubeSat Launch Initiative Competition has been awarded a launch slot to the Vermont CubeSat Lunar Lander Project. Faculty and students from Vermont Technical College, Norwich University, UVM and St. Michael's College are developing the satellite for this launch opportunity. It will be launched into Low Earth Orbit as part of a NASA launch payload in 2012. The single-unit CubeSat for this launch will perform critical on-orbit testing of the robotic navigation system that will autonomously guide the eventual three-unit CubeSat Lunar Lander package into a lunar orbit, followed by a landing on the Moon."

Vermont Lunar CubeSat Project

NASA Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge

NASA And Space Florida Small Satellite Research Center Partner In Space Launch Challenge

"The Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge is to launch satellites with a mass of at least 2.2 pounds (1 kg) into Earth orbit, twice within the span of one week. The new challenge has a NASA-provided prize purse of $2 million. The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in propulsion and other technologies, as well as operations and management relevant to safe, low-cost, small payload delivery system for frequent access to Earth orbit. Innovations stemming from this challenge will be beneficial to broader applications in future launch systems. They may enhance commercial capability for dedicated launches of small satellites at a cost comparable to secondary payload launches -- a potential new market with government, commercial, and academic customers."

DICE Satellites Placed Into Orbit

DICE - Dynamic Ionosphere Cubesat Experiment: DICE will map geomagnetic Storm Enhanced Density (SED) plasma bulge and plume formations in Earth's ionosphere. Two identical spinning spacecraft will measure plasma density and electric fields to determine the how and why of variations in ionospheric plasma density that affect the performance of communications, surveillance, and navigation systems on earth and in space.

Just-launched tiny USU satellites studying solar disturbances, Desert News

"The DICE satellites, known as "nanosatellites," are smaller than a toaster. They were put together by students at Utah State University and launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Delta rocket that also carried NASA's satellite, known as the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System."

Twin USU Built Small Satellites Delivered to California for Launch Prep

"Two Utah State University completed Dynamic Ionosphere Cubesat Experiment (DICE) satellites have been delivered to the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, for final launch readiness. Cal Poly will place the two National Science Foundation funded miniature spacecraft in an ejection canister and verify that the assembly is ready for launch."

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