CubeSat for Solar Particles

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CubeSat for Solar Particles
NamesCuSP
Mission typeTechnology demonstration, reconnaissance
OperatorSouthwest Research Institute (SwRI)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftCubeSat
Spacecraft type6U CubeSat
ManufacturerSouthwest Research Institute (SwRI)
Launch mass14 kg (31 lb)
Dimensions10 cm × 20 cm × 30 cm
Start of mission
Launch dateNovember 2021 (planned) [1]
RocketSLS Block 1
Launch siteKSC, LC-39B
ContractorNASA
Orbital parameters
Reference systemHeliocentric orbit
Flyby of Moon
Main telescope
NameMiniaturized Electron and Proton Telescope (MERiT)
Instruments
Suprathermal Ion Spectrograph (SIS)
Miniaturized Electron and Proton Telescope (MERiT)
Vector Helium Magnetometer (VHM)
 

CubeSat for Solar Particles (CuSP) is a planned nanosatellite spacecraft that will study the dynamic particles and magnetic fields that stream from the Sun.[2][3]

CuSP is a low-cost 6U CubeSat nanosatellite that once deployed, will orbit the Sun, measuring incoming radiation that can create a wide variety of effects at Earth, from interfering with radio communications to tripping up satellite electronics to creating electric currents in power grids. The principal investigator for CuSP is Mihir Desai, at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas.[2] It will fly on the maiden flight of the Space Launch System (SLS), as a secondary payload of the Artemis 1 mission planned to launch in 2021.[4]

Objective[edit]

To create a network of space weather stations would require many instruments scattered throughout space millions of miles apart, but the cost of such a system is prohibitive.[2] Though the CubeSats can only carry a few instruments, they are relatively inexpensive to launch because of their small mass and standardized design. So, CuSP also serves as a test for creating a network of space science stations.[2]

Payload[edit]

This CubeSat will carry three scientific instruments:[2][3]

  • The Suprathermal Ion Spectrograph (SIS), is built by the Southwest Research Institute to detect and characterize low-energy solar energetic particles.
  • Miniaturized Electron and Proton Telescope (MERiT), will return counts of high-energy solar energetic particles.
  • Vector Helium Magnetometer (VHM), being built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will measure the strength and direction of magnetic fields.
Propulsion

The satellite features a cold gas thruster system for propulsion, attitude control (orientation) and orbital maneuvering.[5]

See also[edit]

The 13 CubeSats flying in the Artemis 1 mission

References[edit]

  1. ^ Berger, Eric (17 July 2019). "NASA's large SLS rocket unlikely to fly before at least late 2021". Ars Technica. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Heliophysics CubeSat to Launch on NASAs SLS". NASA. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b Messier, Doug (5 February 2016). "SwRI CubeSat to Explore Deep Space". Parabolic ARC. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  4. ^ Berger, Eric (17 July 2019). "NASA's large SLS rocket unlikely to fly before at least late 2021". Ars Technica. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  5. ^ "CuSP Propulsion System". VACCO Propulsion Systems. 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2021.