PICASSO (PICosatellite for Atmospheric and Space Science Observations) is a Belgian 3U CubeSat, designed to investigate the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere.
PICASSO is developed for the QB50 project for ESA by the Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomy (BISA) with VTT Finland and the UK’s Clyde Space, PICASSO will measure the distribution of ozone in the stratosphere and profile the temperature of the mesosphere and the electron density in the ionosphere.
PICASSO features a miniaturized multispectral imager for atmospheric limb sounding with the Sun as the light source, and a multineedle Langmuir probe (mNLP) sampling the electron density of the space around it. PICASSO is built to the 3U-CubeSat standard.
PICASSO is one of a number of CubeSat missions being backed by the In-Orbit Demonstration element of ESA’s General Support Technology Programme. It was to be launched in 2016 as part of QB50, a network of 50 CubeSats to probe largely unexplored layers of Earth’s atmosphere.
|Type / Application:||Technology, thermospheric research|
|Operator:||Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomy (BISA)|
|Contractors:||Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomy (BISA)|
|Equipment:||Miniaturized multispectral imager for atmospheric limb sounding, mNLP|
|Power:||4 deployable fixed solar arrays, solar cells, batteries|