Image: CU-Boulder Professor Xinlin Li holds a tiny spacecraft that will carry a CU student-built instrument package into space in 2012 to measure the behavior of so-called "killer electrons" in space that can have negative impacts on spacecraft and astronauts. Image courtesy Emilia Reed, CU-Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
The University of Colorado at Boulder has been awarded $840,000 from the National Science Foundation for students to build a tiny spacecraft to observe energetic particles in space that should give scientists a better understanding of solar flares and their interaction with Earth's atmosphere.
The three-year grant to CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and the aerospace engineering sciences department involves the development of a 5-pound, loaf of bread-sized spacecraft carrying a miniature instrument package to observe energetic particles tied to "space weather" in the near-Earth environment. CU-Boulder graduate students working with CU-Boulder faculty and LASP scientists and engineers will develop, integrate and test the experiment as well as conduct subsequent mission operations and data analysis.