Recently in the NSF Category

Firefly Cubesat

"Imagine a fully-instrumented satellite the size of a half-gallon milk carton. Then imagine that milk carton whirling in space, catching never-before-seen glimpses of processes thought to be linked to lightning. The little satellite that could is a CubeSat called Firefly, and it's on a countdown to launch next year. CubeSats, named for the roughly four-inch-cubed dimensions of their basic building elements, are stacked with modern, smartphone-like electronics and tiny scientific instruments. Built mainly by students and hitching rides into orbit on NASA and U.S. Department of Defense launch vehicles, the small, low-cost satellites recently have been making history. Many herald their successes as a space revolution."


Cubesats at NSF

Cubesats "Land" at National Science Foundation on Thursday, May 24th

"What will it take for future cubesat projects to provide the crucial measurements from space needed to solve critical societal problems, such as climate change, land use and resource management, pollution and disaster monitoring, communication and space weather? On May 24, NSF will host an event titled: "Workshop to Explore the Utility of Cubesat Projects for Scientific Research and Technology Advances and STEM Education and Workforce Development." Scientists, engineers and educators will showcase their current NSF-funded cubesat science and engineering projects."

NSF Seeks Cubesat Proposals

CubeSat-based Science Missions for Geospace and Atmospheric Research, NSF

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): May 07, 2012

Synopsis of Program: Lack of essential observations from space is currently a major limiting factor in many areas of geospace and atmospheric research. Recent advances in sensor and spacecraft technologies make it feasible to obtain key measurements from low-cost, small satellite missions. A particularly promising aspect of this development is the prospect for obtaining multi-point observations in space that are critical for addressing many outstanding problems in space and atmospheric sciences. Space-based measurements from small satellites also have great potential to advance discovery and understanding in geospace and atmospheric sciences in many other ways. To take full advantage of these developments, NSF is soliciting research proposals centered on small satellite missions.

The overarching goal of the program is to support the development, construction, launch, operation, and data analysis of small satellite science missions to advance geospace and atmospheric research. Equally important, it will provide essential opportunities to train the next generation of experimental space scientists and aerospace engineers.

To facilitate launch of the satellites as secondary payloads on existing missions, the focus of the program is on CubeSat-based satellites. Launch of the satellites will mainly be through the standardized CubeSat deployment system, the Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD). Launch of the P-PODS will be as auxiliary payloads on DOD, NASA, or commercial launches. This will be arranged after selection and is not part of this solicitation. This solicitation covers proposals for science missions to include satellite development, construction, testing and operation as well as data distribution and scientific analysis.