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MCNAIR is a mission by Akash Systems Inc. to test its GaN-on-Diamond transmitter technology with a flight-proven software defined radio (SDR) into a compact form factor.

MCNAIR is a 12U-CubeSat that measures 23.9 cm by 22.9 cm by 36.6 cm stowed and has a mass of 19.9 kg. MCNAIR's payload consists of an Akash GaN-on-Diamond Transmitter (parabolic antenna), a S-band SDR (patch antenna) for telemetry and telecommand (TT&C), a spacecraft flight computer, avionics and GNC equipment, power system components, and 2 solar panels (one per side), each measuring 30 cm × 40 cm. There is no propulsion on-board.

MCNAIR will be launched in October 2019 from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula on a Rocketlab Electron rocket to a sun-synchronous orbit targeted for an altitude of 500 km, and an inclination of 97.8 degrees. The demonstration is intended to begin on October 1, 2019 and end on April 1, 2020, but with CubeSat missions the launch window could slip in time. All emissions will cease after the six month demonstration is complete

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Akash Systems Inc.
Contractors: Akash Systems Inc.
Equipment: GaN-on-Diamond SDR transmitter
Configuration: CubeSat (12U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 6 months
Mass: 19.9 kg
Orbit: 500 km & times 500 km, 97.8°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
MCNAIR - 2019 OnS LC-1 Electron with ?