BioSentinel is a life science CubeSat mission that will be the first in over forty years to obtain direct experimental data from biological studies occurring beyond Low Earth Orbit. The BioSentinel is designed to measure the damage and repair of DNA in a biological organism and compare that to information from onboard physical radiation sensors.
BioSentinel will address gaps in knowledge pertaining to the biological effects of space radiation. This knowledge will provide an adaptable platform to perform multiple human-relevant measurements in multiple space environments.
The BioSentinel is a 6U satellite weighing about 14 kg that is currently under development. The CubeSat contains cold gas thrusters as its propulsion method, deployable solar arrays and batteries for powering the spacecraft, and biosensors used for experimentation.
BioSentinel is one of 13 CubeSats planned to be carried with the Orion Artmeis-1 mission. Once launched, the BioSentenil will start its 12 to 18 month mission.
The Lunar Flashlight mission consists of a solar-powered 6U CubeSat whose objective is to search the lunar poles of the moon for water ice and other volatiles. Georgia Tech’s Space Systems Design Laboratory (SSDL) is designing and building a new green propellant propulsion system that will perform orbit insertion for NASA’s Lunar Flashlight. This custom propulsion system will deliver over 3000 N-s of total impulse for the orbit insertion and other maneuvers. Additionally, this system fits within a 2.5U volume and has a total wet mass under 6 kilograms.
Lunar Flashlight aims to demonstrate and utilize CubeSat abilities to conduct space science missions at a much lower cost and complexity than larger missions. Upon mission completion, Lunar Flashlight may become the first CubeSat to achieve orbit around a planetary orbit that is not earth.
For the LFL Cubesat, the compact form factor of the 6U CubeSat canisterized dispenser standard with slight modifications will be used. Any modifications done are to accommodate the mass of 14 kilograms for a form factor of 116.2 x 239.4 x 366 mm. LFL will use commercial off the shelf components that have been screen for use in space applications and will limit fault redundancy. The LFL propulsion system is a new green propellant technology being designed and built by Georgia Tech.
Transfer of raw data and remote control of the spacecraft will be done using a miniaturized radio called “Iris”. After the ejection of the spacecraft from the dispenser, four solar panels will be deployed to provide power to the spacecraft.
The LFL instrument will occupy 2U of the 6U spacecraft. Four high-power diode lasers, each emitting a different wavelength, will be aligned with a multi-band reflectometer based on an optical receiver. The wavelengths of the instrument each correspond to peak absorption for water ice.
Lunar Flashlight CubeSat. (a) CubeSat with deployed solar panels. (b) LF CubeSat stowed. (c) LFL Instrument
NASA’s Lunar Flashlight will be deployed on the Artemis-1 mission in 2021.
TARGIT is a 3U, solar-powered CubeSat that will contain a compact altimetry laser system. This compact laser system is capable of delivering accurate topographic data using an on-board LiDAR system from as far at 10 kilometers away. The applications for this mission are particularly valuable for mapping the topography of near by planetary bodies such as moons and near-Earth asteroids.
TARGIT is a joint mission with Dr. Gunter’s group, Georgia Tech Research Institute, and the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
TARGIT was selected in 2017 to be launched as a part of the ELaNa program by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSIL).