A CubeSat Prototype for Lunar, Solar, and Terrestrial Observation

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Dominic Fucile, Hyannis, MA
Even before Galileo used his telescope to observe the night sky in 1609, astronomers have viewed celestial objects trying to find the information they may hold. However, from the ground, a simple factor has always clouded their views; the atmosphere is a constant issue for many astronomers. Light from distant stars travels astronomical distances to reach Earth, only to have the light, and the information it contains, obscured in the last infinitesimally small leg of its interstellar journey. Today, this is a problem for many astronomers in their hunt for exoplanets. To overcome this limitation, scientists have begun in the past 25 years to place telescopes in orbit so that they are above Earth’s atmosphere and its light distorting properties.  This project shows a prototype for a possible satellite telescope model, based on the new CubeSat satellite standard. It is a design that includes imaging, attitude control, telemetry, and a solar powering system.