Datengarten 39

Cubesat Projekt GLORIA

01.03.2012, 00:00 Uhr
Chaos Computer Club Berlin

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Recently Cubesats have attracted a considerable amount of attention as a Spaceborne platformamong agencies interested in executing a short duration mission mission. The Cubesats are standardcomponents available off-the-shelf, and are relatively simple platform in the sense, that they offerless overall control over the device. Nonetheless, a number of scientific and engineering objectives have been achieved using Cubesats,e.g. Ionospheric ELF measurements, and Reaction Wheel tests. Cubesats are cubic platforms measuring 10cm x 10cm x 10cm, that is 1 liter. The maximum mass is1.33 kg, per unit. At the maximum 3 units can be used together. Standard power and communication kits come together with cubesats.

Mission Proposal: Aerosol Monitoring Aerosols are particulate matter in the atmosphere, which are known to be influential on climate. Aerosols are also to be monitored to observe the spread of natural calamities such as Nuclear Disasters and Volcanic Disasters. The Present A-train (the remote sensing satellite constellation that passes the equator at local timeafternoon, figure 1) monitors atmospheric aerosol using backscattered solar radiation, and spectrometric techniques. Nonetheless, the monitoring process is not exclusively dedicated to aerosols, even though aerosolsare an important player in the Earth System. In fact the first exclusive mission after aerosols was the GLORY mission from NASA, which did not quite succeed. There exists agencies, who are interested in aerosol information. Climate studies recently have inclined towards investigation of aerosol processes, for example, see [2], [3] and [5]. Disastermitigation agencies also are interested in aerosol data, for example see [4], [6]Mission Operation: Photographic systems - The proposed method for aerosol monitoring depends on photographic techniques. A syntheticaperture stereo camera will photograph the atmosphere using different (commercially available) bandpass filters. Another camera will be fitted with a spectrometer polarimeter assembly. Multiband monitoring of the following parameters will be of interest:

  1. Spectral Pattern of the backscatter, analyzed in spectrometer assembly the includingpower at different wavelengths;
  2. Atmospheric interference and backscatter patterns;
  3. Polarization of backscatter;
  4. Photometric descriptions of aerosol concentration patterns;

Mission Extension: Upper atmospheric Aerosol - The pilot mission is engaged in monitoring the lower atmospheric aerosols (up to tropopause. Should the Pilot mission is executed successfully, a possible extension may be achieved with new devices inserted in orbit to monitor upper atmospheric aerosols.

Further, a LIDAR based observation of aerosol dispersion may be realized.Mission Goals: Science Return - The mission should return the following science objectives successfully:

  1. Identification of spectral signature of different aerosol species, at different altitudes,incidence angle, and environment (temperature etc);
  2. Identification of patterns in the aerosol formations;
  3. Identification of energy redistribution pattern at the presence of aerosols, anddifferentiations of patterns with respect to different aerosol species, and environmentalconditions; Mission Goals: Technical Goals - The technical goals include improvisation of sampling and monitoring techniques. The ones that are of primary interest are:
  4. Noise filtration of aerosol monitoring data;
  5. Optimal sampling point identification;

Mission Goals: Engineering Goals

  1. Calibration of instruments;
  2. Identifying the orbital maneuvers before launch;
  3. Identifying necessary subsystems;
  4. Designing and constructing the mission Control;
  5. Construction of a Cubesat by integrating all subsystems necessary;
  6. Launch of the said Cubesat;
  7. Confirmed Orbital Operation of the said Cubesat for at least 6 months;

Mission Goals: Commercial Goals

  1. Generation of data utilizable in the context of use by third parties;
  2. Filtering of the data to meet the industry standards;
  3. Generation of secondary data, to meet the requirement of secondary third parties;

Conclusion - The pilot mission focuses on simplicity and feasibility of the mission, while making sure that somescientific data is returned – such that the mission is not just a demonstrator. Only one scientificpayload is planned.Given the pilot mission is successful, an extension is possible, using more satellites, and moresophisticated systems.Given the pilot mission is approved, and enough interest is generated, immediately shall a MissionConcept Review be released, wherein the science goals will be clearly defined. Immediately afterthe MCR will follow a System Requirement Review, wherein the mission requirements such as,data download rate, orbital height, etc will be unambiguously defined.

More Infos can be found at 1 and some previous test launch2