Session

Technical Session I: Mission Payloads

SSC10-I-6.pdf (486 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The value of CubeSats to the scientific community depends on the availability and quality of suitable miniature scientific instruments. We introduce one such instrument capable of measuring total atmospheric density within the envelope of a 3U CubeSat. The Atmospheric Drag Environment Sensor (ADES), to be flown on a constellation of CubeSats, is a miniaturized version of accelerometer technologies that have been used to study the upper atmosphere since the dawn of the space age. ADES is designed to measure at the 10 nano-g level, while occupying a space of less than 10x10x10cm. The remainder of the 3U CubeSat will be dedicated to the attitude determination and control, power production and storage, telemetry, data processing and storage subsystems. The mission goals are as follows: (1) Provide global coverage of atmospheric density measurements, (2) Investigate storm-time features of the thermosphere over a large range of spatial and temporal scales, and (3) Provide the means for data assimilation into a first-principles model of the upper atmosphere. The benefit of this technology is not only its small size, mass and power requirements; but also the significant reduction in the cost of an accelerometer capable of measuring satellite drag. This technological breakthrough will facilitate the addition of a space weather sensor as a secondary payload to many existing LEO satellite mission with minimal impact on the main payloads and overall budget.

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Aug 9th, 4:14 PM

A CubeSat Constellation to Investigate the Atmospheric Drag Environment

The value of CubeSats to the scientific community depends on the availability and quality of suitable miniature scientific instruments. We introduce one such instrument capable of measuring total atmospheric density within the envelope of a 3U CubeSat. The Atmospheric Drag Environment Sensor (ADES), to be flown on a constellation of CubeSats, is a miniaturized version of accelerometer technologies that have been used to study the upper atmosphere since the dawn of the space age. ADES is designed to measure at the 10 nano-g level, while occupying a space of less than 10x10x10cm. The remainder of the 3U CubeSat will be dedicated to the attitude determination and control, power production and storage, telemetry, data processing and storage subsystems. The mission goals are as follows: (1) Provide global coverage of atmospheric density measurements, (2) Investigate storm-time features of the thermosphere over a large range of spatial and temporal scales, and (3) Provide the means for data assimilation into a first-principles model of the upper atmosphere. The benefit of this technology is not only its small size, mass and power requirements; but also the significant reduction in the cost of an accelerometer capable of measuring satellite drag. This technological breakthrough will facilitate the addition of a space weather sensor as a secondary payload to many existing LEO satellite mission with minimal impact on the main payloads and overall budget.