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RANGE [Georgia Institute of Technology]

The RANGE (Ranging And Nanosatellite Guidance Experiment) cubesat mission involves two 1.5U cubesats flying in a leader-follower formation with the goal of improving the relative and absolute positioning capabilities of nanosatellites.

The satellites’ absolute positions will be tracked using GPS receivers synchronized with miniaturized atomic clocks, and will be validated using ground-based laser ranging measurements. The relative position of the satellites will be measured using an on-board compact laser ranging system, which will also double as a low-rate optical communication system. The satellites will not have an active propulsion system, so the separation distance of the satellites will be controlled through differential drag techniques. The results of the mission should serve to enable more advanced payloads and future mission concepts involving formations and constellations of nanosatellites.

The piggy-back launch of the satellites in 2016 is sponsored by Skybox University Cubesat Partnership.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Georgia Institute of Technology
Contractors: Georgia Institute of Technology
Configuration: CubeSat (1.5U)
Propulsion: none
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, solar cells, batteries
Mass: 4 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
RANGE A - 2018 with ?, CPOD A, CPOD B, RANGE B
RANGE B - 2018 with ?, CPOD A, CPOD B, RANGE A