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

John Siepierski John Siepierski: Graduated 
Former Team Lead
Former Thermal Control Lead
Engineering Major
Jose Fregozo: Senior
Attitude Determination Lead
Drag Lead
Engineering and Physics Major
Kegan Miller: Senior
Mechanical/Structures Lead
Thermal Control Lead
Engineering Major
Adam Will: Senior
Team Lead
Command & Data Handling Hardware Lead
Engineering Major
Bryan Mitchell: Junior
Electric Power Subsystem Lead
Engineering Major
Jonah Quirk: Junior
Langmuir Plasma Probe Lead
Physics Major
Colin Runnion: Junior
Command & Data Handling Software Lead
Engineering Major
Wyatt Helms: Sophomore
Communications Lead
Engineering Major
Ryan Loehrlein: Sophomore
GPS Lead
Engineering Major
Zack Snyder: Sophomore
Ground Support Lead
Computer Science Major
Sujan Kaphle: Junior
Mechanical/Structures
Engineering Major
Dr. Glen Kissel: Co-I
Engineering Professor
Dr. Eric Greenwood
Physics Professor
Dr. Art Chlebowski
Engineering Professor