Division: Engineering & Physical Sciences
Group: Space Technology
CubeSat Architecture Tests for Space Technology And Readiness. This project aims to develop system level plans for the various technologies, especially propulsion, relating to interstellar flight. It aims to design concepts and build missions cheaply which can demonstrate interstellar related technologies using CubeSat and smaller devices, related architectures. The main purpose is to increase the technology readiness of specific systems and particular for propulsion. CubeSat missions can be launched for <$100,000 using a multi-kg payload. It is preferred to first demonstrate the proof of concept in a ground laboratory experiment before moving to full orbital demonstration. Mission or technology demonstrators will be defined according to a five phase program, which includes phases (1) physics principles understood from a purely theoretical point of view (2) physics principles validated numerically and/or with small scale table top experiments (3) engineering ground demonstrations to prove the technology on Earth (4) orbital system demonstrator which involves elements of the technology in Low Earth Orbit or sub-orbit using CubeSat architecture or equivalent (5) mission application of technology to an actual science probe. The objective of the overall program is to design ways of accelerating the technologies of interstellar engineering to flight readiness status.