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DUSTIE (Dust Sounder and Temperature Imager Experiment) is a proposed CubeSat mission to determine the global distribution of cosmic smoke in the atmosphere.

The Earth is under continual bombardment by comets and meteoroids. Over the last 5 billion years they have brought water and the basics of life to our planet. Today they are vaporized during atmospheric entry and deposited as microscopic smoke particles in the upper atmosphere. These cosmic particles are known to be important in a host of atmospheric processes, including nucleation of ice particles, ion chemistry in the thermosphere and heterogeneous chemistry in the mesosphere. Despite this, our current understanding is based on scant observations and theory.

The successful deployment of DUSTIE will offer a major advance in this important emerging area of research. DUSTIE will use a digital camera to image the Sun at 0.420 m during spacecraft sunrise and sunset. This will provide measurements to characterize the smoke distribution over the altitude range of ~40 to 90 km. A high-inclination orbit will provide near-global coverage monthly. Simultaneous refraction measurements will yield atmospheric density profiles up to 75 km. Measured smoke extinctions will be used to derive smoke particle volume and surface area densities.

DUSTIE will utilize a 3U form factor CubeSat and rely heavily upon commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components and proven technologies. DUSTIE was put on hold until funding can be secured.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Atmospheric sciences
Operator: Department of Electrical and Computer Enginieering, Virgina Tech
Contractors: Department of Electrical and Computer Enginieering, Virgina Tech (prime); Pumpkin (bus)
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 4 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
DUSTIE - (via NASA ELaNa program) with ?

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