2011 Workshop:CubeSats for GEM and CEDAR Science

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Cross-cutting CEDAR/GEM Science enabled by tiny satellites, including CubeSats

Location, Date/Time and Duration

4 hours

Conveners (First is CEDAR convener, Second is GEM convener, the rest are co-conveners)

Gary Swenson
David Klumpar
Kristina Lynch
Therese Moretto-Jorgensen
Rick Doe
Charles Swenson
Bob Lin
Greg Earle

Format of the Workshop

Short Presentations

Estimated attendance


Justification for the workshop

Very small satellites are being proposed, designed, built and launched to carry out both fundamental research and Space Weather applications across a broad base of the ITM and terrestrial magnetosphere communities, as well as Solar, and Heliospheric research. Topical sessions at the American Geophysical Union meeting (notably in December 2009) have generated broad community participation. Annual CEDAR meetings have hosted well-attended "CubeSat" workshops for several years. The NRC Decadal Survey process is reviewing a number of White Papers relating to the scientific utility of CubeSats. The occasion of the joint GEM/CEDAR Workshop is an opportune time to bring the ITM and Magnetospheric community together to discuss the scientific promise of this emerging new capability.

Requested Specific Days

none, at this time

Special technology requests

internet access (possibly)


Participants will weigh the scientific promise of tiny satellite technologies for ITM and Magnetospheric research and space weather applications. Short presentations of scientific mission concepts (proposed, and on-going) will be sought from the CEDAR and GEM communities with the aim of stimulating discussion of the broader applicability of CubeSats and related small free-flying platforms to revolutionize our science and vitalize our communities. Novel applications of "TinySats" will be especially encouraged, including missions to hard-to-reach regions, and the promise of swarm missions. Broad student participation will be vigorously sought.


Wednesday, June 29th (1:30-3:30) – Where we are

  • 1:30 Overview of NSF CubeSat program – Therese Moretto Jorgensen – (Introduction and kickoff by David Klumpar and Gary Swenson)
    • Introduction/overview and status of the NSF program 10-15 min include discussion of future selection opportunities and the type and availability of launches for NSF CubeSat missions)
  • 1:50 A review of existing NSF Space Weather CubeSat missions by teams. A four or five slide status update for each that is given in less than 3 min. – (Introduction and lead by David Klumpar and Gary Swenson)
    • RAX overview of flight results – Jami Cutler or SRI (update 5 min)
    • FireBird –Harlan Spence or David Klumpar (update 2 min)
    • FireFly – Doug Roland (update 2 min)
    • DICE – Jeff Crowley (update 2 min)
    • Colorado SSWE – Xinlin Li (update 2 min)
    • Cinema – Thomas Immel (update 2 min)
    • ‘New One’ – Aaron Ridley (update 2 min)
  • 2:15 Frequency allocation and other community issues and update for CubeSats (15-20 min) – Rick Doe (lead discussion)
    • Erik Stromberg (460 to 470 MHz Band)
    • Discussion of the long term solutions being led by the NSF Spectrum Managers (Tomas Gergely or Therese Moretto or Rick Doe)
  • 2:45 other items brought forward by workshop participants (45 min – perhaps more structure needed) (Introduction and lead by Greg Earl and Rick Doe)

Thursday, June 30th (10:00-noon) – Where we are going

  • 10:00 Discussion of constellation and multi-point missions for the space environment inspired or enabled by CubeSats – (Introduction and Lead by David Klumpar, Gary Swenson, Greg Earl)
    • GeoScan- Lars Dyrud (10 min)
      • Overview of the GEOScan concept for the community and provide an overview of the kinds of small space weather instruments that have been discussed as part of GEOScan that might have application to future CubeSat missions.
    • QB50 – Scott Palo (15 min)
      • Overview of the QB-50 mission and the potential for US institutions to contribute to this European lead mission.
    • ICES – Chad Fish (15 min)
      • Overview of the ISS CubeSat Ejection System Concept and the NSF systems engineering study of the feasibility of using the ISS as a launch platform for studying the lower ionosphere-thermosphere. Discussion of potential opportunity for community use of this concept.
    • Geo Transfer Orbits – Larry Kepko (10 min)
      • Overview of using CubeSats to study the magnetosphere by making use of secondary payload in Geosynchronous Transfer Disposal Orbits.
    • CADRE and ARMADA – Aaron Ridley
      • Overview of the ARMADA CubeSat space weather constellation concept. (10 min)
  • 11:15 Open discussion or a panel discussion on important science questions that can be addressed by CubeSat missions or constellations (45 Min - perhaps more structure needed) – (Introduction and discussion to be led by Kristina Lynch and Thomas Immel)

Workshop Summary

This is where the final summary workshop report will be.

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