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 communicationkits come together with cubesats.Mission Proposal: Aerosol MonitoringAerosols 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 NuclearDisasters 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, andspectrometric 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 theGLORY mission from NASA, which did not quite succeed.There exists agencies, who are interested in aerosol information. Climate studies recently haveinclined towards investigation of aerosol processes, for example, see ,  and . Disastermitigation agencies also are interested in aerosol data, for example see , Mission Operation : Photographic systemsThe 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 wavelengths2. Atmospheric interference and backscatter patterns3. Polarization of backscatter4. Photometric descriptions of aerosol concentration patternsMission Extension : Upper atmospheric AerosolThe 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 newdevices inserted in orbit to monitor upper atmospheric aerosols.
Further, a LIDAR based observation of aerosol dispersion may be realized.Mission Goals : Science ReturnThe 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 formations3. Identification of energy redistribution pattern at the presence of aerosols, anddifferentiations of patterns with respect to different aerosol species, and environmentalconditionsMission Goals : Technical GoalsThe technical goals include improvisation of sampling and monitoring techniques. The ones that areof primary interest are:1. Noise filtration of aerosol monitoring data2. Optimal sampling point identificationMission Goals : Engineering Goals1. Calibration of instruments2. Identifying the orbital maneuvers before launch3. Identifying necessary subsystems4. Designing and constructing the mission Control5. Construction of a Cubesat by integrating all subsystems necessary6. Launch of the said Cubesat7. Confirmed Orbital Operation of the said Cubesat for at least 6 monthsMission Goals : Commercial Goals1. Generation of data utilizable in the context of use by third parties2. Filtering of the data to meet the industry standards3. Generation of secondary data, to meet the requirement of secondary third partiesConclusionThe 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.