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Maxwell [CU Boulder]

Maxwell is a 6U-CubeSat designed and developed by students of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder).

MAXWELL is a 6U CubeSat that is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory's University Nanosat Program 9. The team has won phase A of the competition which provided the satellite with a free flight to orbit. The flight design builds on the heritage of the CSSWE, MinXSS and QB50-Challenger CubeSats which have been developed at the University of Colorado Boulder and all demonstrated mission success. This project will mature hardware designed by the PI, Dr. Scott Palo, as part of the NASA Small Satellite Technology Program to develop a high rate CubeSat communication system that is compatible with the NASA Near-Earth Network.

The MAXWELL CubeSat will be developed as part of the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Graduate Projects course that engages students from across the College of Engineering in the design, build, test and operation of spacecraft hardware. We have utilized the graduate projects course for the development of LASP's three prior CubeSats with great success. Through this course over 100 students have been educated on the structured systems engineering approach to spacecraft design.

The anticipated outcome of this project is the development of a CubeSat to demonstrate high rate communications that will move the capabilities of CubeSats forward. It is also expected that 50 or more students will have the opportunity to be involved with the project through our graduate projects course and learn the key elements of systems engineering based satellite design through a structured graduate course. The impact will be to have highly qualified students prepared to enter the aerospace workforce with significant hands-on experience and making a new high rate communications technology available to the Air Force for future small satellite projects.

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

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Research, magnetosphere
Operator: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU)
Contractors: University of Colorado at Boulder
Configuration: CubeSat (6U)
Propulsion: None
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Maxwell - 20xx (via NASA ELaNa program) with ?


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