Friday, May 6, 2016

CubeSats - Goliat

CubeSats are nanosatellites of standardised dimensions, composed of one or more units that are 10x10x10cm in size and that have a mass of up to 1.33kg.

Seven teams of university students were selected to fly their CubeSats on the maiden flight of ESA's Vega launch vehicle. Here is an introduction to Goliat, the Romanian team.

The Goliat picosatellite project was built around the first year university team that flew a microgravity experiment during the ESA Parabolic Flight Campaign. The objective to develop a microsatellite mission was already included in the national space program. The Romanian Space Agency and the Romanian Institute of Space Science provided the team with institutional, technological and financial support through a national grant.

Goliat carries three experiments for scientific measurements and Earth observation:
- CICLOP is a 3 megapixel digital camera with a custom-built lens for Earth observation, particularly imaging of Romanian territory.

- SAMIS is an impact sensor which will count micrometeoroid impact events and measure their energy (voltage over time) in order to estimate their number and speed. The data on each impact will be processed at the ground station.

- DOSE-N is a detector designed to measure the total dose of radiation inside the satellite. The data set will consist of a value for the dose and the position (including time) where that value was measured.

Once the early operations phase is completed, the team will start to receive and analyse the data. SAMIS and DOSE-N will increase knowledge about the radiation and micrometeoroid environments in low Earth orbit. CICLOP will test the possibility of using picosatellites to monitor surface features for agricultural, administrative and disaster monitoring purposes, as well as for public outreach. The images will be acquired at specific locations and published on the project website.




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