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Emerald 1, 2 (SQUIRT 3, 4)

Emerald [Stanford Univ.]

The Emerald nanosatellite is a project of Stanford University SSDL and Santa Clara University, California, to demonstrate distributed space systems technology and applications. It is funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to explore creative thinking in space systems design.

Launch of the two Emerald satellites was planned together with a single Orion satellite on a Shuttle mission in 2005, but was finally cancelled.

The core of the EMERALD mission is demonstration of Robust Distributed Space Systems. The mission uses a building-block approach, where the ultimate mission is actually built upon the success of individual experiments.

  • VLF Lightning Science Experiment: This atmospheric science experiment utilize a set of VLF receivers, one on each spacecraft, to detect electromagnetic radiation and lightnings. This payload is developed by Stanford's STARLAB. The ability to control the formation of the spacecraft will be used to enhance this experiment.
  • Colloid Micro-Thruster Experiment: One of the EMERALD will be demonstrating the Colloid Micro-Thruster technology to confirms ground experimental data and to validate its technology and its application in Distributed Space Systems architecture. It is currently being developed at the Stanford Plasma Dynamic Laboratory.
  • Radiation Testbed: The testbed is being developed jointly with Boeing, Naval Research Laboratory, the Aerospace Corporation, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and Univeristy of California at Berkeley. Its primary mission is to asses the on-orbit performance of advanced microprocessor and MEM technologies that are considered vital to enabling high-performance, low-cost, distributed space systems.
Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Stanford University
Contractors: Stanford University
Configuration: hexagonal prism
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Emerald 1 (SQUIRT 3) - cancelled CCK LC-39 Shuttle with ?
Emerald 2 (SQUIRT 4) - cancelled CCK LC-39 Shuttle with ?