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The COPPER 2 (Close Orbiting Propellant Plume and Elemental Recognition 2) mission is to perform a flight of a commercially-available, compact microbolometer array, a tiny infrared camera developed by FLIR Systems, to evaluate the suitability of using this instrument for Earth observation and space situational awareness. It is a follow-on mission to the COPPER (SLU 01) satellite, but in a larger 3U CubeSat bus.

COPPER 2 is an 3U CubeSat designed to operate in Low Earth Orbit. It is to flight-test a neural network for automated event detection and response. The neural network will be trained to detect interesting and unexpected science events (in images and on-board telemetry), and the spacecraft will record these events.

  • The FLIR Tau 320 Microbolometer Array, with a custom-built interface board (giving a greater control over the imager and allowing to store 14-bit images at 30 frames per second) as a test for the Rascal (SLU 04) mission.
  • A pathfinder payload provided by Vanderbilt University, in preparation for the Argus mission. The Commodore payload will demonstrate basic interfaces and functionality of their radiation-effects monitoring payload controller.

The payload will consist of two imagers: the FLIR Quark LWIR, and a commercial visible-light imager.

The launch is planned in early 2017 as asecondary payload on a Minotaur-C-3210 rocket.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: St. Louis University
Contractors: St. Louis University
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 4 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
COPPER 2 (SLU 03) - 2017 Va 576E Minotaur-C-3210 with SkySat 8, SkySat 9, SkySat 10, SkySat 11, SkySat 12, SkySat 13, CPOD A, CPOD B, MinXSS 2, RANGE A, RANGE B