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IceCube (Earth 1)

IceCube [NASA]

IceCube or Earth 1 is a 3U CubeSat mission developed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to evaluate sub-mm-wave remote sensing from a CubeSat.

The objectives of the mission are:

  • Develop a flight-qualified 874 GHz receiver for future cloud remote sensing
  • Validate 874 GHz radiometer hardware, operation and calibration performance in space on a 3U CubeSat
  • Launch 3U COTS-component CubeSat to LEO orbit with >350 km altitude
  • Observations of Earth atmosphere and space for 28+ days, and data return for NEDT, calibration error, and response to clouds

The satellite is to demonstrate and space-qualify a commercially available 874 GHz submillimeter-wave receiver developed by Virginia Diodes Inc. (VDI), of Charlottesville, Virginia. This instrument is capable of providing an accurate assessment of the distribution of atmospheric ice.

It was selected in 2013 by NASA to be launched as part of the ELaNa program. It was selected in 2014 by NASA as part of the Science Mission Directorate's Cubesat Initiative.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Earth sciences
Operator: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Contractors: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Equipment: 874 GHz radiometer
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: +28 days
Mass: 4 kg ?
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
IceCube (Earth 1) - 2017 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(401) with Cygnus CRS-7, ALTAIR 1, SUSat, UNSW-EC0, i-INSPIRE 2, ZA-AeroSat, nSIGHT 1, Ex-Alta 1, LilacSat 1, NJUST 1, Aoxiang 1, SOMP 2, QBITO, Aalto 2, X-CubeSat, EntrySat, SpaceCube, DUTHSat, UPSat, Hoopoe, LINK, SNUSAT 1, SNUSAT 1b, qbee50-LTU-OC, BeEagleSat, HAVELSAT, Phoenix, PolyITAN-2-SAU, QBUS 1, QBUS 2, QBUS 4, CSUNSat 1, CXBN 2, Biarri-Point, Lemur-2 30, ..., 34?