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SEOPS Quantum Radar 1, 2

SEOPS Quantum Radar 1 and 2 consistss two passive Quantum Radar satellites covered with optical reflectors. Student-operated ground stations utilize a collimated laser telescope to illuminate and perform tracking of the satellites. This science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program can also use other, currently orbiting, retroreflector satellites for tracking experiments.

The SEOPS-Quantum Radar-1 and -2 satellites investigate low-Earth orbiting satellite orbital decay properties. They accomplish their objectives by using a student-based laser telescope tracking network that provides regular tracking data to determine atmospheric drag effects on satellites at this altitude for future satellite constellation lifetime information. These satellites provide valuable data for future satellite constellation lifetime estimates to enable the business plans of these constellations. Orbital lifetime of CubeSats at this altitude is an important factor in performing commercial business operations at this altitude.

The SEOPS-Quantum Radar-1 and -2 satellites are passive satellites that are covered with optical reflectors. Student-operated ground stations utilize a collimated laser telescope to illuminate and perform tracking of the satellites. This STEM program also utilizes other orbiting retroreflector satellites (e.g. Laser Geodynamics Satellite [LAGEOS]) for tracking experiments as well.

This investigation supports the space program by providing satellite orbital decay tracking data for a highly-desired small satellite constellation orbit. The orbital decay tracking data supplied by this investigation could be beneficial to future small satellite constellations operating in this orbit. These constellations, in turn, could benefit people on the Earth by providing services such as communications and Earth imagery.

The Quantum Radar satellites deploy from the SlingShot Satellite Deployment system. Once deployed, various student and amateur observers use collimated laser telescopes to track the satellites and provide tracking data back to SEOPS. This data is correlated with Air Force tracking data to verify the actual versus predicted orbital decay of the Quantum Radar satellites. Data observations are sporadic based on the availability of the student researchers.

The satellites were launched on board of the Dragon CRS-16 cargo mission together with the SEOPS Slingshot deployer prototype. This equipment was installed on Cygnus CRS-10 and the satellites were deployed from the spacecrafts SEOPS Slingshot deployer after departing from the ISS.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: SEOPS/Hypergiant
Contractors: SEOPS/Hypergiant
Equipment: Laser reflectors
Configuration: CubeSat (?U)
Propulsion: None
Power: None
Lifetime:
Mass:
Orbit: 455 km × 458 km, 51.64 (#1); 457 km × 457 km, 51.64 (#2)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SEOPS Quantum Radar 1 2018-092C 05.12.2018 CC SLC-40 Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Dragon CRS-16, GEDI, TechEdSat 8, RRM3, CAT 1, CAT 2, UNITE, Delphini 1, SEOPS Quantum Radar 2
SEOPS Quantum Radar 2 2018-092D 05.12.2018 CC SLC-40 Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Dragon CRS-16, GEDI, TechEdSat 8, RRM3, CAT 1, CAT 2, UNITE, Delphini 1, SEOPS Quantum Radar 1