Constellation pathfinder: a university nanosatellite
Constellation Pathfinder will demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating and launching three I-kg satellites (nanosatellites) that are capable of collecting and returning quality scientific and engineering data for several months. The nanosatellite to be launched is based on one that has been under development for the past two years through the Magnetospheric Mapping Mission (MMM), a NASA New Mission Concept study. The study objective of MMM is to assess the feasibility of placing hundreds of nanosatellites equipped with magnetometers into orbits extending into the tail of the magnetosphere, thereby obtaining a much more detailed three-dimensional picture of dynamic phenomena in geospace than has been possible previously. The Constellation Pathfinder Mission (CPM) will take the first step toward such an ultimate implementation by launching similar satellites from the Shuttle. The hardware demonstration of building and flying such a satellite, or small suite of satellites, will provide a proof of principle of the satellite design that will be helpful in many scientific and strategic applications where a fleet of small satellites is required.
Small Satellite Conference
Rayburn, C. D.; Spence, Harlan E.; Petschek, H. E.; Bellino, M.; Vickers, J.; Murphy, M.; Dennehy, N.; Sargent, D.; and Socha, M., "Constellation pathfinder: a university nanosatellite" (1999). Physics Scholarship. 250.