The Cubesat mission to study Solar Particles (CuSP), an interplanetary cubesat

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Eric R Christian1, Mihir Indrajit Desai2, Frederic Allegrini2, Jörg-Micha Jahn2, Shri Kanekal1, Stefano A Livi3, Neil Murphy4, Keiichi Ogasawara2 and Nikolaos Paschalidis5, (1)NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, United States, (3)SwRI, San Antonio, TX, United States, (4)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (5)NASA/GSFC-Heliophysics Sci, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The Cubesat mission to study Solar Particles (CuSP) is a funded 6U interplanetary cubesat scheduled to fly on the EM-1 SLS launch in 2018. CuSP has three small but capable instruments from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Its primary scientific goal is high-cadence precise measurements of the suprathermal (ST) tail in the solar wind. The suprathermal tail is the critical bridge between the thermal solar wind plasma and the dangerous high-energy solar energetic particles. CuSP also measures the energy spectra and composition of the ~1-50 MeV/nucleon H–Fe ions that evolve from the STs and the interplanetary magnetic field that is closely coupled to the particle distributions. CuSP is a stepping-stone to future interplanetary cubesats, smallsats, and constellations for both scientific and space weather applications. The challenges for this mission and future missions will also be discussed.