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Research Infrastructure Development

The HIGHLY MANUFACTURABLE IONOSPHERIC SCIENTIFIC SPACECRAFT focused on developing lowresource multiple-point sensorcraft for studies of structure and dynamics in the auroral ionosphere. The primary collaborators, the Dartmouth Lynch Rocket Lab and GreenCube student research group, extended their research capabilities with support from NASA JPL (for undergraduate research and mission planning for cubesat design), from NASA WFF (for technical and design support for science-competed NASA sounding rockets), and from Dartmouth College (for undergraduate and graduate research in the sciences). Our sciencecompeted Isinglass mission (NASA LCAS 36.303 and 36.304) would not have been possible without the technology development enabled by EPSCOR funding. One aspect of this work required our finding an optimum balance between specifically-designed hardware, and commercially available technologies including Arduinos. Student designs led to a board we call the “BobShield4.2”, which will enable us to fly 10 small subpayloads on NASA sounding rockets this coming fall and winter. Students of all levels have been included in this project from beginning to end. Two Dartmouth senior honors theses were supported by this work; one on analysis of spacecraft attitude sensors, and one on the orbital dynamics of swarms of low-resource CubeSats. Both theses were influenced by a parallel project with JPL involving a mission design study of our group’s candidate Ionospheric CubeSwarm mission, which has grown out of our EPSCoR studies of low-resource CubeSat possibilities. The BobShield (figure to the left) illustrates the spacecraft bus board designed by Jacob Weiss, an undergraduate in the Dartmouth GreenCube lab. This control board will enable our small spacecraft development, including balloon-borne experiments, and our upcoming multipoint sounding rocket NASA flights, as we refine our plans for an eventual CubeSwarm mission. The control board works in parallel with an Arduino board to form the basis of our spacecraft bus. It supports an Xmega coprocessor, power regulation and relays, ADCs and DACs, a DNT900MHz radio, and interfaces to science sensors; for our balloon payloads, it supports a 2Gb NANDflash and a GPS.

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NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014 -15

EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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