Micro-sized Microwave Atmospheric Satellite Cluster (MicroMAS)
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
CubeSats have emerged as a de-facto platform for small, low cost satellites. There is an ever growing list of COTS suppliers for CubeSat compatible systems, and numerous launch opportunities due to the development of the PPOD launcher which now flies as part of many expendable launch vehicles and even the Space Shuttle. In spite of this, CubeSats applications are limited by the small size, volume, and power available on any single satellite. We propose to overcome these limitations by developing a networked, fractionated CubeSat architecture where the resources of multiple CubeSats are combined to accomplish a scientific objective. Further, we propose to demonstrate this architecture through the design, development, fabrication, and flight of a Micro-sized Microwave Atmospheric Satellite Cluster (MicroMAS) to provide unique observations of hurricane dynamics while also demonstrating a transformative satellite architecture supporting a wide range of missions, including weather prediction, communication, and astronomy. This cluster consists of two elements: The first element, a 3U CubeSat spacecraft, will spin an 8-channel 118-GHz passive microwave spectrometer at 1 Hz so that it cross-track scans through nadir to produce ~10-km resolution spectral images at nadir. The second element, another CubeSat, provides data processing and communication to ground stations.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive Manassas, VA 20110
Number of Employees: