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The UNITE (Undergraduate Nano Ionospheric Temperature Explorer) is University of Southern Indiana’s 3U CubeSat mission to make a series of global measurements in the largely unexplored lower ionosphere.

The objective is to explore the Extremely Low Earth Orbit environment and would feature

  • space weather measurements using a Langmuir plasma probe,
  • assessment of CubeSat drag in this lower region of the ionosphere and
  • CubeSat temperature measurements to compare against a thermal model.

UNITE is to probe plasma in the lower ionosphere to measure both electron and ion densities. It will measure temperatures throughout its flight and importantly in the last stages of reentry. The archived data will be used to compare against modeled drag throughout flight.

It was funded through National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) and was selected in 2017 by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) to be launched as part of the ELaNa program.

The satellite was launched to the ISS in late 2018 and was deployed on 31 January 2019 from the ISS.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Science, ionosphere
Operator: University of Southern Indiana
Contractors: University of Southern Indiana
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 4 kg
Orbit: 403 km × 407 km, 51.64°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
UNITE 1998-067PX 05.12.2018 CC SLC-40 Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Dragon CRS-16, GEDI, RRM3, TechEdSat 8, CAT 1, CAT 2, Delphini 1, Quantum Radar 1, Quantum Radar 2


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