Cuspp: Cubesat Mission to Study Solar Particles over the Earth’s Poles

Friday, 19 December 2014: 12:05 PM
Frederic Allegrini1,2, Mihir Indrajit Desai1,2, Robert W Ebert2, Don E George1,2, Jörg-Micha Jahn1,2, Stefano A Livi1,2, Keiichi Ogasawara2, Eric R Christian3 and Shrikanth G Kanekal3, (1)University of Texas at San Antonio, Physics and Astronomy, San Antonio, TX, United States, (2)Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, United States, (3)NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The CubeSat mission to study Solar Particles over the Earth’s Poles (CuSPP) has recently been selected by NASA part of the LCAS program. It is a 4-year project to design, develop, and integrate a 3U CubeSat with a miniaturized suprathermal ion spectrograph (SIS) to measure the temporal, spectral, and angular distributions of ~3-70 keV/q suprathermal ions that constitute the source material for solar and interplanetary particle events. SIS is a novel, electrostatic analyzer-microchannel plate based sensor that is the scaled down version of a potential future larger sensor for space weather predictions and suprathermal ion science. CuSPP’s technical objective is to increase the technological readiness level (TRL) of SIS so that it can be proposed and flown with significantly reduced risk and cost on future Heliophysics mission. From a ~500 km nearly circular, high inclination (>65°) LEO, CuSPP sweeps through the polar cap regions, where it will measure ion precipitation, and all magnetospheric L-shells at an orbital period of ~95 minutes. We will present the mission concept, the science objectives, the sensor, and report on the status.