The poster is a description of a project to design, test, and run an experiment in space (Low Earth Orbit – LEO) on a CubeSat satellite launched by Spire Corporation in September 2015. Ardusat and the Association of Space Explorers sponsored a national contest to select fifteen schools to invent, create, and explore running custom experiments in space. Rachel Carson Middle School (Fairfax County Public School in Virginia) was awarded the opportunity to run two experiments (in January and March 2016) on the Lemur Satellite.
The experiment will use the Lemur Luminosity Sensor to measure different frequencies and strength of infrared and ultraviolet light in space. The purpose of the experiment is to understand how light is affected by distance and spectrum of light in space. The data collected will be used to support satellite-to-satellite communication for a mesh space communication network for an array of multiple CubeSat satellites. The multiple satellites could use light communication as an out-of-band (non-Radio Frequency) communication network. Click Here
The advantage of using infrared light communication is the high bit rates and low error rates. Data collection on useful distance and interference will be analyzed to determine the best light wave pulses and acceptable angles for the luminosity sensor to capture data adjusting for sensitivity.
Data will be captured four times per hour over fifteen days to determine the different bands and wavelengths of light in space. Based on the data, the best bands (e.g. H, J, K, L, M bands) will be determined for satellite-to-satellite light communications. The team will attempt to determine a CubeSat constellation appropriate for a mesh network of satellites in low earth orbit. The model will attempt show the elimination of latency in communications while determining the minimum number of satellites needed to provide coverage of CubeSat in LEO.