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OSIRIS-3U [Penn State University]

OSIRIS-3U (Orbital Satellite for Investigating the Response of the Ionosphere to Stimulation and Space Weather) is a 3U Cubesat developed by students at the Penn State University to study space weather's impact on communications networks.

OSIRIS-3U will investigate where plasma goes when high-power radio waves cause large ionospheric drops in electron density, in the ionosphere's F-region, which begins approximately 190 km above sea level. The primary scientific goal of OSIRIS is to characterize these events by flying through the heated region of our ionosphere. Results of the mission, beyond understanding radio-wave interaction with the ionosphere, can be used for research into space weather forecasting and for developing countermeasures to prevent damage to our infrastructure.

The F-region is used to reflect radio signals and is especially critical in propagating high-frequency (HF) radio waves used by airplanes for air-to-ground communication, ships for sea-to-shore communication, over-the-horizon radar systems, military and governmental communication systems, shortwave radio broadcasting and amateur radio operators.

Instruments on board the OSIRIS-3U include a Langmuir probe, a GPS radio occultation receiver from The Aerospace Corp. and a coherent electromagnetic radio tomography radio beacon from the Naval Research Laboratory.

In February 2013, OSIRIS-3U was selected by NASA for a sponsored launch under its Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) Program.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Life sciences
Operator: The Pennsylvania State University Department of Electrical Engineering
Contractors: The Pennsylvania State University Department of Electrical Engineering
Equipment: Langmuir probe, GPS radio occultation receiver, coherent electromagnetic radio tomography radio beacon
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Orbit: 400 km 400 km, 51.6 (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
OSIRIS-3U - 2017 CC Falcon-9 v1.2 with Dragon CRS-12, CREAM, ASTERIA, LAICE, RBLE, OPAL, HARP, OPEN, Overview 1A