Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's Smallest Self-Propelled Satellite Nearly Ready For Air Force, NASA

Date:
November 5, 2001
Source:
University Of Washington
Summary:
After three years of work, University of Washington students have nearly completed the world's smallest self-propelled satellite and are preparing to deliver it to the Air Force and NASA for launch.

After three years of work, University of Washington students have nearly completed the world's smallest self-propelled satellite and are preparing to deliver it to the Air Force and NASA for launch.

The nanosatellite, dubbed 'Dawgstar' and tentatively scheduled for launch from the Space Shuttle in early 2003, will take samples from the Earth's ionosphere and conduct experiments in formation flying with two other satellites, an ability scientists say is vital for the next generation of space endeavors.

But one of the best parts of the project is that students played a primary role in designing and building the compact piece of space hardware, according to Assistant Professor Mark Campbell, coordinator of the effort.

"It's very unusual for students, particularly undergraduates, to have an opportunity to work on something that is actually going into space," said Campbell, who recently left the UW for Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and is coordinating the final stages of the project long-distance. "This isn't a class exercise, it's the real thing and they're getting great experience by being part of it."

The nanosatellite project is intended to encourage universities to work together to explore low-cost alternatives to large, expensive satellites. Nanosatellites, because of their small size, are cheaper to build. Their low weight makes for less expensive launches V a major factor, considering that the cost of a Space Shuttle launch starts at about $1 million. Launches aboard unmanned vehicles are even costlier.

Dawgstar resembles a small six-sided box, measuring 18 inches across and 12 inches high, and weighing less than 40 pounds. It will fly with companion satellites from Utah State University and Virginia Tech. Dawgstar, with the aid of eight tiny plasma thrusters, is the primary craft capable of maneuvering itself. The Virginia Tech craft, which is larger than Dawgstar, will fly with two thrusters built by the UW team, providing partial mobility. The mission's two main objectives are:

„Y Conducting a scientific study of disturbances in the Earth's ionosphere. Such disturbances can cause significant disruption in communications among networked satellites and with sites on the ground. A better understanding of ionospheric disturbances will be essential in managing groups of nanosatellites in Earth orbit and operating space-based radar systems.

„Y Performing experiments in precision formation flying with the satellites from Utah State and Virginia Tech. The satellites will fly about one to three miles apart and will attempt to maneuver in concert to tolerances of 33 feet or less. The ability of small satellites to fly in precise formation could make possible a wide array of new applications, including a next-generation Internet, space-based radar and ultra-powerful space telescopes.

The project culminates three years of work by more than 75 undergraduate and graduate students and is being funded through grants from the Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The launch is being coordinated through the Air Force Space Test Program.

###

For more information about the Dawgstar project, check: http://www.aa.washington.edu/research/dawgstar/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Washington. "World's Smallest Self-Propelled Satellite Nearly Ready For Air Force, NASA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011105073233.htm>.
University Of Washington. (2001, November 5). World's Smallest Self-Propelled Satellite Nearly Ready For Air Force, NASA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011105073233.htm
University Of Washington. "World's Smallest Self-Propelled Satellite Nearly Ready For Air Force, NASA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011105073233.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Week @ NASA, July 25, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 25, 2014

NASA (July 25, 2014) Apollo 11 celebration, Next Giant Leap anticipation, ISS astronauts appear in the House and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Coming and Going

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

NASA (July 25, 2014) One station cargo ship leaves, another arrives, aquatic research and commercial spinoffs. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A Solar Flare Could Have Wrecked Earth's Electronics

How A Solar Flare Could Have Wrecked Earth's Electronics

Newsy (July 25, 2014) Researchers say if Earth had been a week earlier in its orbit around the sun, it would have taken a direct hit from a 2012 coronal mass ejection. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins