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CADRE [University of Michigan]

CADRE (CubeSat investigating Atmospheric Density Response to Extreme driving) is a 3U CubeSat developed by the University of Michigan's Student Space Systems Fabrication Lab (S3FL). Development began in 2007.

CADRE is a risk reducing precursor of the future Armada mission, which endeavors to characterize the dynamics of the upper thermosphere using the WINCS instrument. CADRE will operate WINCS in low earth orbit that explores the auroral oval and advance capabilities of CubeSat class spacecraft as a test for Armada.

CADRE has following mission goals:

  • Deploy a University of Michigan CubeSat housing the Wind Ion Neutral Composition Suite (WINCS)
  • Flight-test low-cost dual-frequency GPS to measure atmospheric and ionospheric total electron content
  • Advance CubeSat capabilities to enable Armada and other NanoSat missions

It will demonstrate following technologies:

  • Reduce the costs to perform in-situ measurements of the upper thermosphere
  • Low-cost TEC count measurements and occultation using a dual-band GPS
  • ADCS system pointing/knowledge accurate to 1.0°/0.1° for CubeSats
  • Flight testing of deployable solar panels
  • Create a standardized CubeSat bus for multiple missions

CADRE was selected in 2012 for launch with NASA’s ELaNa program. It was launched on the ELaNa-9 mission with Cygnus CRS-4 to the ISS and deployed into orbit on 16 May 2016, but no signals from CADRE were received.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: University of Michigan
Contractors: University of Michigan
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, solar cells, batteries
Mass: 4 kg
Orbit: 400 km × 402 km, 51.64°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CADRE 1998-067HV 06.12.2015 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(401) with Cygnus CRS-4, SIMPL, AggieSat 4, Bevo 2, Flock-2e 1, ..., 12, MinXSS 1, Nodes 1, Nodes 2, STMSat 1, SNAPS


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