text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation Home National Science Foundation - Environmental Research & Education (ERE)
Environmental Research & Education (ERE)
design element
ERE Home
About ERE
Funding Opportunities
Awards
News
Events
Discoveries
Publications
Advisory Committee
See Additional ERE Resources
View ERE Staff
Proposals and Awards
Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
  Introduction
Proposal Preparation and Submission
bullet Grant Proposal Guide
  bullet Grants.gov Application Guide
Award and Administration
bullet Award and Administration Guide
Award Conditions
Other Types of Proposals
Merit Review
NSF Outreach
Policy Office
Additional ERE Resources
Follow ERE on Twitter
ERE Funding Opportunities
Other Site Features
Special Reports
Research Overviews
Multimedia Gallery
Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments

Email this pagePrint this page


Media Advisory 12-015
Cubesats "Land" at National Science Foundation on Thursday, May 24th

Scientists, engineers, educators from cubesat projects will showcase their projects at NSF headquarters in Arlington, Virginia

Ultra-small satellites, cubesats, used for space weather and atmospheric research.

NSF-funded cubesats: ultra-small satellites for space weather and atmospheric research.
Credit and Larger Version

May 11, 2012

View a webcast showing presentations by cubesat scientists, engineers and educators.

Imagine a fully instrumented satellite the size of a half-gallon milk carton.

Small low-cost satellite payloads, built mainly by students and hitching rides into orbit on Air Force and NASA launch vehicles, have been making recent history in successes many herald as a "space revolution."

Called cubesats for the roughly four-inch-cubed dimensions of their basic building elements, each one is stacked with modern, smart-phone-like electronics and tiny scientific instruments.

Several cubesat projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are currently operating in orbit, making first-of-their-kind experiments in space and providing new measurements that help scientists understand how the Earth's upper atmosphere responds to solar activity.

And more are on the way.

Several other payloads are already built and awaiting launch this summer with their host spacecraft. Yet others are in the process of being constructed or designed, all poised to provide new scientific measurements to answer questions in space and atmospheric science.

But this is just the beginning, say scientists.

The future of cubesat projects is only limited by the imagination, researchers believe. The capabilities of cubesat systems are growing at an ever-increasing rate as technological advances are made.

Opportunities are many to accelerate this technology through engineering research in an array of fields, including materials research, 3-D printing, sensor miniaturization, micro-electro-mechanical systems, systems engineering, radio science, communication algorithms and networks.

Private firms and government agencies are also adopting the cubesat concept as a low-cost way of flying payloads in space while creating important educational opportunities for future leaders of industry.

The projects stimulate widespread excitement and involve a unique set of skills and interests. They appeal, say researchers, to a broader range of participants than more traditional science and engineering projects.

What will it take for future cubesat projects to provide the crucial measurements from space needed to solve critical societal problems, such as climate change, land use and resource management, pollution and disaster monitoring, communication and space weather?

On May 24, NSF will host an event titled: "Workshop to Explore the Utility of Cubesat Projects for Scientific Research and Technology Advances and STEM Education and Workforce Development."

Scientists, engineers and educators will showcase their current NSF-funded cubesat science and engineering projects.

Presentations will explore the potential for cubesat projects to play a major role in solving critical societal problems and enabling scientific discoveries and engineering innovation.

The event will feature posters and exhibits presented by the project teams, as well as presentations highlighting current and future cubesat capabilities.

Who:Cubesat project scientists, engineers, educators and students

What:Workshop to Explore the Utility of Cubesat Projects for Scientific Research and Technology Advances, and STEM Education and Workforce Development

When:Thursday, May 24, 2012, noon to 3:00 p.m. ET

Where:National Science Foundation Atrium, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230

Detailed Agenda:

Organizers:

  • Therese Moretto Jorgensen, NSF program director for Space Weather Research and Instrumentation in the Geosciences Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences
  • Rathindra DasGupta, NSF program director for Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers in the Engineering Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships
  • Kevin Simmons, Senior Policy Analyst in the Engineering Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships

Schedule:

Noon to 3 p.m.--Posters and exhibits are staffed
1 p.m to 3 p.m.--Presentations:

  • Michael Morgan, NSF Division Director for Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences--Welcome and introduction
  • Jordi Puig-Suari, California Polytechnic (to be confirmed)--Cubesats as a disruptive technology
  • James Cutler, University of Michigan--Experiences with student-built cubesats
  • Norman Fitz-Coy, University of Florida--Utility of cubesat data to developing countries, especially those in Africa, for addressing socio-economic needs
  • Eloisa de Castro, Princeton Satellite Systems, Inc.--Industry involvement in cubesats and education.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Cheryl Dybas, NSF, (703) 292-7734, cdybas@nsf.gov

Related Websites
National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Build "CubeSats": http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=112341
Small Satellite Takes on Large Thunderstorms: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=112591

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

 

Image of James Cutler, assistant professor at University of Michigan.
View Video
Imagine a fully instrumented satellite the size of a half-gallon milk carton: a cubesat.
Credit and Larger Version

A rocket launch.
Launch of a rocket on October 28, 2011, that carried the NSF RAX and DICE cubesats.
Credit and Larger Version

Illustration of a cubesat mission that studied lightning and gamma rays in thunderstorms.
The 'firefly' cubesat mission studied lightning and gamma rays in thunderstorms.
Credit and Larger Version

Two completed cubesats.
Two completed cubesats at Utah State University in the DICE cubesat project.
Credit and Larger Version

The RAX cubesat project.
Researchers at the University of Michigan work on the RAX cubesat project.
Credit and Larger Version

The scientific team assemblying the RAX cubesat.
The scientific team during final assembly of the RAX cubesat.
Credit and Larger Version



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page