Session

Technical Session I: Mission Payloads

SSC10-I-2.pdf (978 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Retarding potential analyzers (RPAs) have been built by the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and validated on a host of ionospheric science missions since the late 1960s. Recently the design has been adapted for accommodation on CubeSats and other small satellite platforms. These adaptations include redesign of the mechanical sensors and electronics to create a new instrument that is quicker and easier to assemble than the systems flown on previous missions, while retaining much of their functionality. The new RPA design has undergone limited environmental testing at the subsystem level, and is currently being readied for functional testing in a space simulation vacuum system using a new LabView controlled ion beam source. This paper describes the important design changes, validation tests, technical specifications, and performance metrics for the new instrument.

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Aug 9th, 3:15 PM

Thermal Ion Instrumentation for CubeSat Missions

Retarding potential analyzers (RPAs) have been built by the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and validated on a host of ionospheric science missions since the late 1960s. Recently the design has been adapted for accommodation on CubeSats and other small satellite platforms. These adaptations include redesign of the mechanical sensors and electronics to create a new instrument that is quicker and easier to assemble than the systems flown on previous missions, while retaining much of their functionality. The new RPA design has undergone limited environmental testing at the subsystem level, and is currently being readied for functional testing in a space simulation vacuum system using a new LabView controlled ion beam source. This paper describes the important design changes, validation tests, technical specifications, and performance metrics for the new instrument.