SeaCube Radar Altimeter for CubeSats
Small Business Information
MA, Natick, MA, 01760-1023
AbstractBusek Co. Inc. with expertise in spacecraft electric propulsion systems, including microwave generated plasmas and CubeSats, and ImSAR LLC with expertise in small Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) for Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs) have teamed up to develop an ocean sensing radar altimeter called SeaCube. SeaCube will fit into 1U of a 3U CubeSat, operate in pulsed mode, consume low orbit average power and produce acceptable data rates. The concepts underlying radar altimetry began after the Navy"s Moon Bounce program showed accurate ranging measurements. NRL realized that similar radar from orbit to the ocean surface could accurately determine the ocean surface state. This resulted in a plethora of ocean state measuring satellites, all which are much larger than CubeSats. With this program the Navy is again at the forefront of technology challenging the community to reduce the radar altimeter size to a 1U Cube form factor. Phase 1 of the proposed program is focused on demonstrating SeaCube"s feasibility. The point of departure will be a miniature UAV based imaging radar build by ImSAR called NanoSAR which is already near the 1U form factor. The Phase 2 deliverable will be an EM model of the SeaCube, ready for flight qualification program.
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