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QBUS 4 (Columbia, QB50 US04)

QBUS 4 or Columbia is an US 2U-CubeSat designed by the Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico, participating in the QB50 project.

The QB50 project, which demonstrates the possibility of launching a network of 50 CubeSats built by Universities Teams all over the world to perform first-class science in the largely unexplored lower thermosphere.

QBUS is a consortium comprised of Stanford University, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Michigan and the Universidad del Turabo Puerto Rico, who participate on th QB50 project. The QBUS team employed four double CubeSats (one from each university with system engineering and project management oversight provided by JHUAPL and USU-SDL), with participating members providing the usual satellite functions (attitude determination and control, uplink and downlink telecommunications, power subsystem including a battery and body-mounted solar cells, on-board data handling and storage by a CPU) as defined by the QB50 Call for Proposals, and the QB50 project providing the standardized sensors for lower thermosphere and re-entry research.

As a payload for QB50, the satellite carries the Flux-Φ-Probe Experiment (FIPEX) of TU Dresden, which is able to distinguish and measure the time-resolved behaviour of atomic and molecular oxygen as a key parameter of the lower thermosphere. Atomic oxygen is the dominant species in these regions and therefore its measurement is crucial in the validation of atmosphere models.

The satellite was launched with the bulk of the QB50 constellation to the ISS in 2017, from where the satellite was deployed on 16 May 2017.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology, thermospheric research
Operator: Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico
Contractors: Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico
Equipment: FIPEX
Configuration: CubeSat (2U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 3 months
Mass: 2 kg
Orbit: 401 km × 404 km, 51.64
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
QBUS 4 (Columbia, QB50 US04) 1998-067LK 18.04.2017 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(401) with Cygnus CRS-7, ALTAIR 1, SUSat, UNSW-EC0, i-INSPIRE 2, ZA-AeroSat, nSIGHT 1, Ex-Alta 1, LilacSat 1, NJUST 1, Aoxiang 1, SOMP 2, QBITO, Aalto 2, X-CubeSat, SpaceCube, DUTHSat, UPSat, Hoopoe, LINK, SNUSAT 1, SNUSAT 1b, qbee50-LTU-OC, BeEagleSat, HAVELSAT, Phoenix, PolyITAN-2-SAU, QBUS 1, QBUS 2, IceCube, CSUNSat 1, CXBN 2, KySat 3, SHARC, Lemur-2 30, ..., 33

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