F-region (thermospheric) Dayside Neutral Wind Measurement from a CubeSat
Navy SBIR 2018.2 - Topic N182-137
SPAWAR - Mr. Shadi Azoum - firstname.lastname@example.org
Opens: May 22, 2018 - Closes: June 20, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)
Battlespace, Sensors, Space Platforms
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Navy
Ionospheric Model for Operations RTP (FNC), Air Ocean Tactical Applications POR
OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate a
daytime F-region (thermospheric) wind sensor compatible with the resources
available on a 6U (nominally <12kg, 10 cm x 20 cm x 30 cm) CubeSat.
sensor techniques to measure daytime thermospheric winds are either space-based
in-situ or space-based remote-sensing techniques. The in-situ sensors are
typically able to measure cross-track and/or along-track winds at the location
of the satellite. Remote sensing instruments typically provide altitude
profiles of neutral wind speed and direction, but no wind measurements that can
be used operationally have yet been performed from a very small platform, such
as a 6U CubeSat or smaller.
PHASE I: Define and develop a
concept to perform the wind measurement from a 6U CubeSat platform (or smaller)
considering the currently achievable resources available on such a platform,
such as payload volume, power, and attitude control [Refs 2, 4]. Platform
resources vary by vendor and are steadily increasing. They are available for
review in the literature (see references for two examples) or directly from
CubeSat vendors. The concept shall be compliant with at least one set of
resources specified for a 6U CubeSat by a commercial CubeSat vendor [Refs 2,
4]. The concept description shall include a high-level design and corresponding
performance modeling results based on solar minimum conditions and a local time
coverage of at least six hours after sunset. All assumptions made for the
performance modeling shall be clearly stated. No redundancy requirement is
leveraged on the payload. For offers including in-situ sensors expected to be
on platforms with low perigee orbits, details on the vertical and horizontal
coverage and estimated orbit lifetimes shall be provided. Develop a Phase II
PHASE II: Produce a
laboratory prototype sensor based on the Phase I work. The prototype shall
demonstrate the form and function of the critical sensor elements as accurately
as possible. The prototype shall be capable of validating key sensor
performance parameters; laboratory validations shall be conducted and
documented by the awardee using the prototype hardware.
PHASE III DUAL USE
APPLICATIONS: Finalize space flight sensor preliminary design for submission to
Government (military and/or civilian) stake holders for consideration within
future space flight opportunities to provide the data needed for
next-generation whole atmosphere operational models. Federal stakeholders
include PEO Space Systems (Navy), Space and Missile Command (Air Force), the
Naval and Air Force Research Laboratories, the Navy and Air Force Operational
Prediction Centers, NASA, and the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.
Commercial potential exists with satellite development and operations
1. Earle, G.D. et al. “A new
satellite-borne neutral wind instrument for thermospheric diagnostics.” Review
of Scientific Instruments 78, 114501, 2007. doi: 10.1063/1.2813343.
2. MAI-6000 6U CubeSat Bus, Adcole Maryland Aerospace, https://www.adcolemai.com/6u-cubesat-mai-6000
3. Nicholas, A.C. et al.
“WINCS on-orbit performance results.” Proc. SPIE 9604, Solar Physics and Space
Weather Instrumentation VI, 960404 (21 September 2015), doi: 10.1117/12.2188403
4. Payload Specification for
3U, 6U, 12U and 27U, 2002367 Rev D, Planetary Systems Corp., Silver Spring, MD,
August 2016, http://www.planetarysystemscorp.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2002367E-Payload-Spec-for-3U-6U-12U-27U.pdf
5. Shepherd, G.G. et al.
“The Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII) on the Upper Atmosphere Research
Satellite: A 20 Year Perspective.” Reviews of Geophysics, 50, RG2007, 2012.
6. Englert C.R. et al.
“Michelson Interferometer for Global High-resolution Thermospheric Imaging
(MIGHTI): Instrument Design and Calibration.” Reviews of Space Science, 212,
553-584, 2017. doi 10.1007/s11214-017-0358-4.
KEYWORDS: Space Weather;
Thermospheric Wind; CubeSat Sensor; Upper Atmosphere; Remote Sensing; In-situ
Sensing; Sensor Miniaturization