A major system in NITESat is the imaging payload. It's correct design and proper operation are critical to the success of the NITESat mission. Consequently, we are building a prototype imaging system, called NITELITE. This prototype will provide an engineering demonstration of the NITESat imaging system. It will allow us to test as much of [...]
The NITESat mission team recently submitted its preliminary design to an independent review board for assessment. The review board examined the preliminary design to ensure that it meets the mission's top-level requirements and is consistent with the mission goals and objectives. The team presented the mission concept of operations, the system architecture, and proposed technical [...]
We participated in a high-altitude balloon (HAB) launch recently. This was a night launch and our goal was to capture images of night-time illumination on the ground. We planned to test the low-light sensitivity of some off-the-shelf imaging systems to define a basic performance benchmark for the NITESat nanosatellite mission. We were testing a hacked [...]
The NITESat nanosatellite mission achieved its first development milestone in September, successfully passing the Mission Concept Review. The independent review panel examined the mission's objectives and the concept for meeting those objectives. All three reviewers found the mission very exciting and provided valuable feedback to the NITESat team. NITESat (Night Imaging & Tracking Experiment Satellite) [...]
Last Sunday we participated with Far Horizons in a high altitude balloon launch. We set up at our usual airfield, Koerner Aviation. Launch time was set for 7:15pm, about half an hour before local sunset. Our goal was to get some good video of the Earth limb and the terminator shadow moving across the ground. [...]
The Adler Planetarium is collaborating with Orbital Transports to build, launch, and operate a 3U CubeSat to demonstrate the ability to obtain Earth observation imagery in mid-infrared spectrum from low Earth orbit. The primary science mission will map the global temperature of the Earth's surface at a sufficient resolution to provide valuable data. We plan [...]
After the difficulties we had with the MarsDrop parawing guided descent experiment earlier this spring, we conducted some low altitude testing to learn the best way to pack the parawing for deployment. Following these drop tests, we managed to fly the parawing several times to successful recoveries. Most recently, we flew the MarsDrop payload in [...]
At the end of August, we participated in a Technical Merit Review to evaluate and prioritize the competing cubesat proposals. The IR imaging mission (ADLIRSAT) proposal passed with flying colors and was selected to go forward.