The latest news from the Terra Bella team
Terra Bella University CubeSat Partnership
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Discovery, learning and fresh-thinking have shaped our culture since we began 6 years ago. While our name has changed, our values haven’t and we continue to look for ways to stimulate new ideas and empower new generations of engineers.
contracted to procure a Minotaur C launch vehicle
in 2014, we had the opportunity to make use of the small amount of spare capacity on board. We considered everything from building a set of small technology demonstration CubeSats ourselves to selling the slots commercially.
However, it’s a tradition in the aerospace industry to support research and education by making this spare capacity available to University CubeSat programs and the idea of partnering with some of these incredible groups was what excited our team the most. These partnerships give the students and staff a rare opportunity to fly their spacecraft and provides us with an opportunity to give back to the community.
We are thrilled to announce that we have reached agreements with three University programs to do exactly this - Georgia Tech’s RANGE,
University of Colorado’s MinXSS
Saint Louis University’s Copper-2
missions will all fly on our upcoming Minotaur C launch alongside Terra Bella’s second generation satellites.
Georgia Tech’s RANGE CubeSats
Georgia Tech’s Ranging and Nanosatellite Guidance Experiment (RANGE) mission seeks to demonstrate an order-of-magnitude improvement in absolute orbital position knowledge compared with traditional CubeSats and inter-satellite distance measurement with mm-level precision. Consisting of two 1.5U spacecraft flying in formation, it will achieve this using a range of cutting edge technologies including satellite laser ranging.
University of Colorado’s MinXSS CubeSat
The University of Colorado’s Miniature X-Ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) mission seeks to improve our understanding of the energy distribution of solar flare soft X-ray (SXR) emissions and their impact on Earth’s ionosphere, thermosphere, and mesosphere. Aside from the scientific significance, MinXSS will demonstrate a variety of technologies including compact 3-axis attitude control and a miniature and a high-performance x-ray spectrometer.
St. Louis University's Copper-2 CubeSat
Saint Louis University’s Copper-2 mission seeks to flight-test a neural network for automated event detection and response. The neural network will be trained to detect interesting and unexpected science events (in images and on-board telemetry), and the spacecraft will record these events.
All three missions also have a primary mission to stimulate and develop the next generation of students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through hands on technical experience. CubeSat projects present a unique opportunity for these students to go through an entire engineering project lifecycle and this partnership provides them the unique opportunity to see their work fly in space.
At Terra Bella, we’re excited to work with these inspiring teams of students, teachers, scientists and engineers. We feel privileged to be in a position to give something back to the engineering community and look forward to finding more opportunities to do so in the future.
We would like to thank our commercial partners in this project - Spaceflight Services, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems and TZero Consulting.
Posted by Jonny Dyer, Chief Engineer
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