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Cubesat Technology

Ten More Types of CubeSat Space Research Projects

Post Series: CubeSat Research

To update our list or recent small satellite and CubeSat space research experiments, we have compiled another list of notable citizen space missions using small payloads deployed or house in the ISS, in low earth orbit.

1.) Space Technology Research

Launch date: November 20th , 2010.

Organization: NASA Ames Research Center.

Research objective: Development of space propulsion systems.


The object of the mission is to deploy a 10 m2 “solar sail”, to test the viability of this technology for possible future use on larger, more massive satellites and probes. Due to the mass of the sail (6 pounds), the satellite was not equipped with data-relaying equipment, and its progress was monitored from ground stations throughout its successful, 240-day mission.

2.) Space Science

Launch date: November 20th , 2010.

Organization: University of Michigan.

Research objective: Upper atmospheric studies/investigations.


The object of the mission is to investigate the origin, and mechanisms involved in FAI ((magnetic) Field-aligned Irregularities), that are known to disrupt radio communication between orbiting space craft and earth-based control stations. Part of the investigation will focus on the reception by the satellite of scattered radar signals, in attempts to develop shielding mechanisms.

3.) Space Technology

Launch date: December 8th , 2010.

Organization: Northrop-Grumman.

Research objectives: System design testing and verification.


The mission serves as a training exercise for company scientists and engineers, with the aim of developing proprietary rapid response satellite construction, integration, configuration, and systems integrity capabilities.

4.) Space Science/Atmospheric studies

Launch date: October 10th, 2011.

Organization: SRM University (India)

Research objectives: Measurements of electrons in the ionosphere.


The object of this mission is to measure the rotation of linear polarization angles of electro-magnetic waves using the Faraday Rotation Effect, to test different methods of encapsulating solar cells to protect them from degradation due to the effects of the space environment. Collected data is transmitted in real time to a ground station for analysis by the physics department of the University.


cubesat-module-frame5.) Space Science/Optics

Launch date: September 13th, 2012.

Organization: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Research objectives: Improve positional estimation of space objects.


The primary objective is the monitoring of space objects that pose threats to valuable space assets, with the aim of improving orbital estimations by using conjunction analyses that are based on data contained in the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) catalog. A secondary objective is the refinement, and reduction of uncertainty factors in the orbital parameters of potentially hazardous space objects.

6.) Space Science/Observational Astronomy

Launch date: February 2nd , 2013.

Organization: Graz University of Technology.

Research objectives: Monitoring/measuring of stellar oscillations.


Using a high-resolution CCD device, the object of the mission is to investigate variations in the luminosity of massive stars by employing differential photometry techniques. The mission is limited to stars with magnitudes of 3.5.

7.) Space Technology

Launch date: August 3rd, 2013.

Organization: Vietnam National Satellite Center.

Research objectives: System design development and verification.


Acquiring environment-based images of Earth by using several imaging devices that form the payload of the satellite. Additional functions include transmitting acquired images to a ground station.

8.) Space Technology/ Infrared imaging

Launch date: November 20th, 2013.

Organization: Saint Louis University.

Research objectives: Verification of system design/integrity.


The mission is a practical assessment of the abilities of a compact, non-cooled micro-bolometer that is available commercially, and which is used to obtain infrared images of the atmosphere and oceans. The purpose of the mission is to assess, and improve performance modelling of the effects of radiation on compact electronics through the collection of particle collision data during electronics monitoring experiments.

9.) Space Technology

Launch date: November 20th, 2013.

Organization: Naval Postgraduate School

Research objectives: Investigation into solar cell degradation.


The primary objective of this mission is to investigate the effects of the space environment on the rate, and manner of degradation of experimental solar cells.

10.) Space Technology

Launch date: November 20th, 2013.

Organization: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Research objectives: Verification of system design.


This mission has the dual objective of evaluating experimental cubesat design parameters, and the assessment of the usefulness, or viability of cubesat technology as a platform for advanced research.

More info can be seen at http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2491/7