CubeSat Missions Adler Planetarium Proposals

The Adler CubeSat initiative has been moving forward.  Two mission concepts have been selected for further development.  Our primary mission is to fly a cryocooled mid-infrared imager.  As a backup, we're also considering an active radar to detect orbital debris.

The objective of the IR mission (or ADLIRSAT) is to obtain full coverage of Earth's surface from 51º North to 51º South using a 1280x1024 resolution, 12 micron pixel pitch imager operating at 3-5 micron wavelength (mid-infrared) and map changes in the Earth's surface temperature over time.  It would be one of the first satellites to demonstrate a cryocooled MWIR camera in a 3U cubesat form factor.

The orbital debris mission (or SpaCESat) will attempt to make direct observations of space debris 1-5cm in size using short-range, 1cm Doppler ranging radar (Ka band).  It would also use a simple imaging capability to enhance debris identification and capture engaging images of astronomical events (e.g. sunrises, eclipses).  The goal is to create rough maps of smaller-scal orbiting debris to augment existing maps.