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The VPM (Very Low Frequency (VLF) Particle Mapper, also Very Low Frequency (VLF) Propagation Mapper) satellite is a 6U CubeSat designed to augment the DSX satellite being flown by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).

DSX is a larger (~500 kg) mission which plans to study the magnetosphere from medium-earth orbit (MEO). The DSX payload includes the Wave Particle Interaction Experiment (WPIx) designed to study wave particle interactions with 0.1 to 50 kHz VLF transmissions in the complex plasmas trapped in Earth's magnetosphere. In order to compliment this experiment, the VPM spacecraft will fly in low-earth orbit (LEO) to measure the presence and intensity of VLF transmissions from DSX as well as their effects on the local electron population. The data received from VPM can be analyzed in coincidence with that obtained by the DSX WPIx equipment to obtain an unprecedented, simultaneous evaluation of two points in the inner magnetosphere.

VPM demonstrates the nanosat architecture as a highly capable experiment platform and introduces its capability to enhance existing missions. This type of flight constellation introduces a low-cost, highly versatile method of analyzing the dynamic space environment.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
Contractors: Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
Configuration: CubeSat (6U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 8 kg
Orbit: 459 km 473 km, 51.64
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
VPM 2019-071K 05.12.2019 CC SLC-40 Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Dragon CRS-19, HISUI, CIRiS, MiniCarb, CryoCube 1, QARMAN, SORTIE, AztechSat 1, EdgeCube, MakerSat 1, ORCA 2, ORCA 8


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