Session

Technical Session XI: Mission Lessons II

SSC12-XI-2_presentation.pdf (1252 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The Compact Total Electron Content Sensor (CTECS) is a GPS radio occultation instrument designed for picosatellite and nanosatellite platforms that utilizes a COTS receiver, modified receiver firmware, and a custom designed antenna. CTECS was placed on the Pico Satellite Solar Cell Testbed-2 (PSSCT-2) nanosatellite that was installed on the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135 mission). PSSCT-2 was successfully released from the shuttle on 20 July 2011 and reentered on 8 December 2011. After approximately four weeks of spacecraft checkout and attitude adjustments, CTECS was powered on and began its mission to obtain ionospheric measurements of the total electron content (TEC) and scintillation (S4). CTECS obtained 13.5 hours of measurements over the mission lifetime. We will show the first successful relative TEC and electron density profiles obtained from a GPS sensor on a nanosatellite. We present the capabilities of the sensor, the challenges encountered during development and operation, and the subsequent mitigations employed.

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Aug 16th, 10:45 AM

First Results From the GPS Compact Total Electron Content Sensor (CTECS) on the PSSCT-2 Nanosat

The Compact Total Electron Content Sensor (CTECS) is a GPS radio occultation instrument designed for picosatellite and nanosatellite platforms that utilizes a COTS receiver, modified receiver firmware, and a custom designed antenna. CTECS was placed on the Pico Satellite Solar Cell Testbed-2 (PSSCT-2) nanosatellite that was installed on the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135 mission). PSSCT-2 was successfully released from the shuttle on 20 July 2011 and reentered on 8 December 2011. After approximately four weeks of spacecraft checkout and attitude adjustments, CTECS was powered on and began its mission to obtain ionospheric measurements of the total electron content (TEC) and scintillation (S4). CTECS obtained 13.5 hours of measurements over the mission lifetime. We will show the first successful relative TEC and electron density profiles obtained from a GPS sensor on a nanosatellite. We present the capabilities of the sensor, the challenges encountered during development and operation, and the subsequent mitigations employed.