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ARAPAIMA [Embry Riddle]

ARAPAIMA (Application for RSO Automated Proximity Analysis and Imaging) is a 6U CubeSat mission developed by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which autonomously maneuvers in close proximity to a Resident Space Object (RSO) for visible, IR, and 3D imaging.

The main objectives of the ARAPAIMA project is to:

  • Determine the 3D shape of the RSO without previous knowledge
  • Autonomously navigate and safely maneuver in close proximity to the RSO, in low earth orbit
  • Estimate the attitude state of the RSO by remote observation

The satellite carries a visible light camera, an IR camera and a Laser range finder with a 2000 meter capability. For maneuvering it features a nanosat propulsion system consisting of eight 10 mN RCS thrusters in four clusters.

It was selected in 2014 by NASA to be launched as part of the ELaNa program, but has been later cancelled for the lack of funds.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Contractors: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Equipment: Visible light camera, IR camera, Laser range finder
Configuration: CubeSat (6U)
Propulsion: 8 × 10 mN thrusters
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, solar cells, batteries
Mass: 6 kg ?
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
ARAPAIMA - cancelled with ?