UNITE CubeSat Project

The Undergraduate Nano Ionospheric Temperature Explorer CubeSat, or UNITE CubeSat, is a NASA funded small satellite project. The University of Southern Indiana has received a Undergraduate Student Instruments Project (USIP) grant from NASA to complete a small satellite focusing on NASA specific goals. UNITE consists of a blend of students studying electrical and mechanical engineering, physics, and computer science.

There are three main goals for the project. The main goal of the mission is to measure plasma in the lower ionosphere, a relatively unexplored region of space. Students shall create a thermal model for comparison with temperature sensor data collected during flight. The last goal is for students to model orbital decay to better understand spaceflight dynamics within the lower ionosphere.

UNITE follows a NASA systems engineering approach. Through this approach, the team regularly presents to NASA, its vendor Near Space Launch, faculty of USI, and guests. Each presentation focuses on phases of the project lifecycle including the most recent, the Critical Design Review. Following the review, student will begin integration and testing of components. Presently, the UNITE CubeSat team plans to finish and deliver the CubeSat to NASA by the end of December of 2017.

Mission

UNITE has the following mission objectives:

  • Explore a relatively unexplored region of space, the lower ionosphere
  • Measure electron and ion densities by Langmuir probe
  • Measure atmospheric temperatures for comparison with a student created thermal model
  • Model the orbital decay of the CubeSat by GPS for comparison with a student created drag model

Team Members

Students Professors
John Siepierski: Graduated 

  • Former Team Lead
  • Former Thermal Control Lead
  • Engineering Major
Dr. Glen Kissel: Co-I

Engineering Professor

Jose Fregozo: Graduated

  • Former Attitude Determination Lead
  • Former Drag Lead
  • Engineering and Physics Major
Dr. Eric Greenwood

Physics Professor

Kegan Miller: Graduated

  • Former Mechanical/Structures Lead
  • Former Thermal Control Lead
  • Engineering Major
Dr. Art Chlebowski

Engineering Professor

Adam Will: Graduated

  • Former Team Lead
  • Former Command & Data Handling
  • Former Hardware Lead
  • Engineering Major
 
Bryan Mitchell: Graduated

  • Former Electric Power Subsystem Lead
  • Engineering Major
 
Jonah Quirk: Graduated

  • Former Langmuir Plasma Probe Lead
  • Physics Major
 
Colin Runnion: Graduated

  • Former Command & Data Handling Software Lead
  • Engineering Major
 
Wyatt Helms: Senior

  • Team Lead
  • Hardware Lead
  • Engineering Major
 
Ryan Loehrlein: Senior

  • Team Co-Lead
  • GPS Lead
  • Engineering Major
 
Zack Snyder: Senior

  • Flight/Ground Software Lead
  • Computer Science Major
 
Sujan Kaphle: Senior

  • Mechanical/Structures Lead
  • Engineering Major
 
 Nathan Kalsch: Sophomore

  • Temperature Sensor Array Lead
  • Engineering Major