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CuPID [Boston University]

The CuPID (Cusp Plasma Imaging Detector) is a 6U CubeSat science mission designed to answer fundamental questions in plasma physics and space weather. The project is a collaboration between Boston University, Drexel University, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Johns Hopkins University, Merrimack College, Adcole Maryland Aerospace, Aerospace Corporation, and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

The CuPID Cubesat Observatory is designed to test competing models of solar wind-magnetosphere coupling. In orbit the spacecraft will measure soft X-rays emitted from the process of charge-exchange when plasma from the solar wind collides with neutral atoms in the Earth’s distant atmosphere. The spatial and temporal patterns of X-ray images will be used to address scientific questions.

CuPID is a 6U CubeSat carrying a wide field-of-view soft X-ray telescope, the first of its kind to be placed into orbit.

The cubesat will fly in a highly inclined, low-Earth orbit where it will measure soft X-rays.

It was selected in 2017 by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) to be launched as part of the ELaNa program. The mission is scheduled to launch in 2020.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Science, magnetosphere
Operator: Boston University
Contractors: Boston University
Equipment: Soft X-ray imager
Configuration: CubeSat (6U)
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 6 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
CuPID 2021-088E 27.09.2021 Va SLC-3E Atlas-5(401) with Landsat 9, CUTE, Cesium Satellite 1, 2


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