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MiRaTA (Microwave Radiometer Technology Acceleration), is a three-unit CubeSat being developed by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Mission to demonstrate a multi-band miniaturized microwave radiometer to image tropical storms, hurricanes, and cyclones, paired with an experimental calibration method using GPS radio occultation. A slow pitch up/down maneuver will be executed once per orbit to permit the radiometer and GPSRO observations to sound overlapping volumes of atmosphere through the Earth's limb, where sensitivity, calibration, and dynamic range are optimal. These observations will be compared to radiosondes, global high-resolution analysis fields, other satellite observations, and with each other using radiative transfer models.

MiRaTA mission is to:

  • Validate new ultra-compact and low-power technology for CubeSat-sized microwave radiometers operating near 52-58, 175-191, and 206-208 GHz;
  • Validate new GPS receiver and antenna array technology necessary for CubeSat tropospheric radio occultation sounding, and
  • Test a new approach to radiometer calibration using concurrent GPS radio occultation (GPSRO) measurements.

The payload consists of a microwave radiometer, a tri-band atmospheric sounder and a compact TEC (Total Electron Count) / atmospheric GPS sensor (CTAGS)

MiRaTA was selected in 2014 for launch with NASA’s ELaNa program.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Earth observation, technology
Operator: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Lincoln Laboratory
Contractors: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Lincoln Laboratory
Equipment: microwave radiometer, tri-band atmospheric sounder, compact TEC (Total Electron Count) / atmospheric GPS sensor (CTAGS)
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: 2 deployable fixed solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 90 days
Mass: 5.5 kg
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51.6° (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
MiRaTA - 2017 Va SLC-2W Delta-7920-10C with JPSS 1, Buccaneer RMM, EagleSat, RadFxSat (Fox 1B), MakerSat 0