The RANGE mission involves two 1.5U satellites flying in a leader-follower formation.  The goal of this mission is to improve the positioning (relative and absolute) capabilities of nanosatellites.

Craft Overview:

Each cubesat involved in the mission is a 4kg, 1.5U cubesat.  Each cubesat is solar-powered, with 2 deployable solar arrays, solar cells, and batteries.

The relative position of each satellite is measured using an on-board compact laser ranging system.  This compact laser ranging system also doubles as a low-rate optical communication system.  The satellites do not contain an active propulsion system so the distance between the two is controlled through differential drag techniques.


RANGE was successfully launched into orbit on December 3rd, 2018. RANGE was launched on board a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket as part of Spaceflight’s SSO-A mission. RANGE is Georgia Tech’s first small satellite to reach orbit.

Sources and Additional Information:

  1. https://ssdl.gatech.edu/index.php/research/projects/ranging-and-nanosatellite-guidance-experiment-range
  2. https://ae.gatech.edu/news/2018/12/its-space-georgia-techs-range-cubesat-launched-december-3
  3. https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/range.htm
  4. https://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=43773
  5. http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/formal_detail.php?serialnum=497
Full NameThe Ranging And Nanosatellite Guidance Experiment
SizeTwo 1.5U
StatusIn Orbit
Launch DateDecember 3rd, 2018
Downlink Frequency437.15 (MHz)
Principal InvestigatorBrian Gunter