The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released the Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) Student Flight Research Opportunity (SFRO) in August of 2015. Its goal was to seek proposals from universities across the nation interested in developing interdisciplinary, undergraduate-led teams to fly a payload relevant to NASA project goals on a platform of their choice. Under the direction of Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Supriya Chakrabarti of the Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology (LoCSST), UMass Lowell submitted a proposal in Fall 2015.
In April 2016, SPACE HAUC was selected along with several other universities. SPACE HAUC is also being supported by the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium, BAE Systems, Draper, and UMass Lowell.
Our team has consisted of more than 50 students from the College of Sciences and College of Engineering actively involved and working to develop SPACE HAUC. Over the course of the next two years, the students will build, fly, operate, and analyze the data of UMass Lowell's first satellite.
SPACE HAUC has successfully passed design review and is now moving into the building and testing phase, as teams work to assemble their section of the spacecraft. Final assembly and integration is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2017, and SPACE HAUC will launch to the ISS for deployment in 2018.
A CubeSat is a type of miniaturized satellite used for space research. The CubeSat standard defines a 1-unit or "1U" CubeSat as a 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm nanosatellite weighing no more than 1.33 kg. CubeSats can be 1U, 2U, 3U, or even 6U, with increasing mass allowances. They are ferried into space as secondary payloads and then spring-deployed into orbit.