The Air Force Institute of Technology's (AFIT) ALICE (AFIT LEO iMESA CNT Experiment) is a nanosatellite in NRO's Colony-1 program to test technologies in orbit. NRO purchased 12 3-unit CubeSat busses with deployable solar panels and three-axis control from Pumpkin Inc. The NRO distributed the structures to other Defense Department or federal agency partners and universities to develop and integrate a variety of payloads.
The satellite carries the iMESA (Integrated Miniaturized Electrostatic Analyzer) and the CNT (Carbon Nano-Tube) experiments.
Georgia Tech manufactured the carbon nanotube array and AFIT built the payload and assembled and tested the satellite. Performance evaluations of the carbon nanotube array were done using custom built integrated miniaturized electrostatic analyzer (iMESA) sensors, based on designs provided by the U.S. Air Force Academy. The ALICE satellite is a 3U cubesat supplied by the National Reconnaissance Office Colony CubeSat program.
The carbon nanotube array on ALICE represents a significant enhancement in small satellite propulsion.
ALICE was designed, tested, and integrated at AFIT at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base by a multi-department team of professors, students, and technicians. The team is comprised of military officers and civilians, and includes students from local southwest Ohio universities.
The ALICE mission was controlled by a ground station at AFIT. It represents an end-to-end space mission design, build and fly capability and is the first of many such flights planned by AFITís newly formed Center for Space Research and Assurance.
ALICE ventured into space on an Atlas-5(501) rocket with the GEMSat/ELaNa II NASA mission. It rode along with several other secondary payloads inside the GEMSat container.
|Type / Application:||Technology|
|Operator:||Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) for NRO|
|Contractors:||Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT); Pumpkin Inc. (bus)|
|Power:||4 deployable fixed solar arrays, solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||462 km × 889 km, 120.50į|
|ALICE||2013-072F||06.12.2013||Va SLC-3E||Atlas-5(501)||with Topaz 3, SMDC-ONE 3.1, SMDC-ONE 3.2, SNaP, TacSat 6, FIREBIRD FU1, FIREBIRD FU2, AeroCube 5A, AeroCube 5B, CUNYSAT 1, IPEX, M-Cubed/COVE 2|