18th Space Defense Squadron

18th Space Defense Squadron

Provide and advance a continuous, comprehensive, and combat-relevant understand of the space situation

Services provided through www.space-track.org

E-mail us at 18SPCS.doo.customerservice@us.af.mil

Our Mission

The 18 SDS uses sensors from the Space Surveillance Network to find and track all artificial objects in space. The 18 SDS maintains the Satellite Catalog (SATCAT) and is currently at over 52,000 cataloged objects. We receive thousands of tracking observations every day and utilize this information to maintain custody of all Resident Space Objects. We are currently tracking around 45,000 objects on orbit.

Services We Provide

Conjunction Assessment (No Cost)

The 18 SDS screens all objects for close approaches against each other (satellites, rocket bodies, debris). If we have contact information, we provide Conjunction Assessment (CA) data to them automatically. We are currently creating more than 735,000 messages per day. All you have to do is register your satellite using the form available on www.space-track.org

Space Situational Awareness Sharing

Basic services are available to any person or organization with an account on Space-Track. These include TLEs, conjunction data, and reentry information. Having public contact information allows easy coordination with other satellite owner/operators. We won’t share any of your information unless you give us permission.

We can provide high accuracy data and support at no cost and facilitate communication and cooperation.

The 18 SDS will not recommend courses of action or tell an operator what to do. 18 SDS will provide information so that you can make an informed decision.

Advanced Services

Advanced services such as historical data can be requested. For a one time request, you can submit an “Orbital Data Request.” For long-term advanced support, you will need to sign an “SSA Sharing Agreement” with U.S. Space Command that will be facilitated through the 18 SDS. This is still at no cost.

How Can You Help?

  • Mission Design Considerations
    • Consider human life: below the ISS is safer
    • Is it big enough to be seen for tracking? (>1U in LEO is optimal; if you’re not sure, we recommend a tracking enhancement device)
    • Recommend using a unique satellite name
  •  Register on www.Space-Track.org and talk to the 18th. We love to hear from CubeSat owners
  • On-Orbit
    • Tell us which one is yours after launch
    • Let us know if your satellite can maneuver
    • Let us know when your satellite has reached end of mission

Forging Our Relationship

  • Register on www.Space-Track.org
  • Contact us at 18SPCS.doo.customerservice@us.af.mil
    • Let us know about your launch and your satellite
    • Provide contact information for your operators
    • We’ll set up an organization account and link the appropriate people to it
    • Once your satellite is identified, it’ll also be linked to the account
  • We’ll work with you to identify your satellite after launch
  • Once on orbit, we’ll track your satellite and provide orbital info (TLEs) daily
  • We’ll alert you if any other objects get close to your satellite (Conjunction Assessment)

Multi-Payload Launch Procedures

  • TLEs are published in the public catalog when we have enough tracking data and the TLEs are judged to be good quality
    • At first, they will be named OBJECT A, OBJECT B, etc
  • For single satellite launches, we’ll have everything catalogued within a day or two, but multi-payload launches can take several days. Identifying the satellites can take weeks
  • We rely on you, the small satellite owner, to tell us which object is your satellite

Vice President Kamala Harris on the 18 SDS

 E-mail us at 18SPCS.doo.customerservice@us.af.mil

Follow us on Twitter! @18thSDS

California Cybersecurity Institute – Space Grand Challenge 2022

Space Grand Challenge

Gamification and Esports for Space and Cybersecurity Skills Development

Include times and dates of exhibit booth (Zoom links will be inserted by the CubeSat Team): 

April 26, 2022 @ 9AM-5PM PT | April 27, 2022 @ 9AM-5PM PT | April 28, 2022 @ 9AM-2PM PT

California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI): Meet the Team

Bill Britton - Headshot 1

Bill Britton

CCI Director, VP of Information Technology and Cal Poly Chief Information Officer


Martin Minnich

Program Manager

KC 2016 Professional Portrait

Kayvan Chinichian

Senior Director of Development

headshot_Henry Danielson

Henry Danielson

Technical Advisor


Makenna Downing

MarCom Coordinator

Danielle Borrelli

Operations Coordinator

About CCI

The California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI) brings academic and private sector know-how to bear on today’s pressing cybersecurity challenges, including workforce development and applied research. 

Space Grand Challenge (SGC)

The Space Grand Challenge, previously known as the CCIC, is an international competition open to middle and high school students from across the globe! Teams from all over the world will compete in a gamified satellite cybercrime scenario to help solve Mission Kolluxium Z-85-0. 

SGC Sneak Peek

CCI's Space Grand Challenge 2022: Mission Kolluxium Z-85-0

SGC 2022

Gamification & Esports for Space and Cybersecurity Skills Development

Cal Poly’s California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI) introduces its new global Space Grand Challenge (SGC) to inspire and acknowledge the next generation of cyber professionals. Middle and high school students from across the globe will compete with their team to solve the fictional cybercrime and win the Space Grand Challenge! 

Event Details

  • What: The Space Grand Challenge is an annual cybersecurity competition hosted by the CCI. 
  • When: October 7-9, 2022
  • Where: The SGC is a virtual event. Zoom links and registration details are available on the CCI website. The event will also be live broadcasted on Twitch.
  • Who: middle and high school students from across the globe are encouraged to participate. 
  • For more information and to register, visit our website. 
Space Grand Challenge logo

Mission Kolluxium Z-85-0

The SGC 2022 requires participants to compete in Mission Kolluxium Z-85-0. This cybercrime scenario is based on the breach of a network of satellites and involves analyzing puzzles, evidence, and digital forensics in order to solve the mission. Mission Kolluxium Z-85-0 is a gamified multi-layered satellite cybercrime plot written and designed by Cal Poly student employees, featuring complex characters and virtual-immersive environments. 


Virtual-immersive environments allow competitors to apply cybersecurity and digital forensics skills to solve intricate puzzles.

Each different scene includes flags and clues that lead competing teams to solving the fictional cybercrime scenario.

Complex Characters & Scenes

The Story Begins: Panic arises in the Moonshot Satellites Ground Control as the team discovers that a logic bomb was deployed in the code that connects the communications and controls that link Ground Control to the satellite network. Moonshot Satellites is working hard to identify the cause of this cyberattack. 

The future of the safety of this multi-billion-dollar company is at stake. Can you help Moonshot Satellites recover from this devastating blow before the deadline? 


With the help of Cal Poly student assistants and the application of the Cal Poly Learn by Doing pedagogy, the CCI aims to provide education opportunities to build a pipeline for future students interested in careers in technology. Along with SGC, the CCI’s Cyber to Schools initiative aims to provide unique pathways to careers in tech for non-traditional students and underserved communities.

Cyber to Schools

Pathways to Tech

Cyber to Schools an initiative led by CCI that prepares K-12 students for careers in the digital revolution through training and free industry-recognized certification programs with an emphasis on inclusivity and hands-on learning. 


In 2021, CCI ran a summer school program and three pilot programs around digital literacy trainings. Over 700 students were trained by three instructors on the following topics:

  • Digital Literacy
  • Splunk Fundamentals 1 & 2
  • AWS Academy Cloud Foundations

Traditional Students

  1. Space Grand Challenge
  2. Trainings and Certifications
  3. College or University
  4. Workforce and Careers

Non-Traditional Students

  1. Cyber to Schools
  2. Space Grand Challenge
  3. Trainings and Certifications
  4. Workforce and Careers

Rydberg Vacuum Sciences

 Rydberg Vacuum Sciences, Inc. (RVS) provides exceptional value space simulation systems for flight qualification of small satellites and components. Our advanced and affordable thermal vacuum bake-out and thermal vacuum cycling chambers are tailored for the small satellite community. With off-the-shelf and custom test equipment for CubeSats for purchase or rental, RVS can help customers easily qualify their satellite for launch.

Intuitive Software and Hardware Design

  • Advanced chamber designs with simple set-up and maintenance
  • Remotely control test procedures for automated testing cycles

Experts in Vacuum Science

  • In-depth knowledge of vacuum technology
  • Troubleshooting support and system management

Responsive and Professional Staff

  • Prompt and effective communication from initial inquiry to product delivery
  • Reliable and personable support

M2 Antenna Systems Inc.

M2 Antenna Systems started out building high quality satellite communications antennas for the government. Building on Mike Staal’s early successes as an engineering working for Stanford Research Institute, our company has excelled in producing innovative, high quality RF products to meet demanding communications needs for the government, military, space and, the research and scientific communities.

We also produce off-the-shelf products for wireless internet service providers (WiSPs), commercial two-way service providers, and the mining industry. From high-performance HF Yagis to innovative dish feeds well into the microwave region, M2 produces the finest antennas, positioners, and accessories around, and we offer an equally impressive array of services.

Our antennas are computer modeled, optimized, and tested at our Fresno, California facility. Our products are made right here in the United States of high quality aluminum and steel. All parts are computer numerically controlled (CNC) or manually machined by expert machinists who understand that quality counts. All of our positioners are designed to withstand extreme conditions and provide years of heavy-duty pointing accuracy. From our low cost OR-2800PX and MT-1000A Azimuth and Elevation systems, to our AE1000S Servo Motor systems, the same level of care and craftsmanship is put into every system built. Each system comes fully documented and ready to be put to work in your application.

M2’s accessory line also covers a full range of rigid tube and flexible coaxial power dividers, precision phasing lines, and switching products. We can accommodate most power levels from microwatts to megawatts. Our mast-mounted low noise amplifier (LNA) receive preamplifiers can be built to cover most frequency ranges.

Common throughout our more than three decades in business is our service. M2’s engineering services include all aspects of RF from the feedline to the antenna, including specialty feed arrangements and precision positioning systems. Many are surprised to find that we also offer enterprise product development services, from concept to low-rate initial and small run final production. Contact us today to find out how M2 has you covered!



The AE2000 Full-Sky Positioner is a state of the industry system which can be outfitted to fit a myriad of applications.  Supporting up to 3.7m reflectors, multiple dish / Yagi / helical configurations are easily managed.  With greater than 15 degree/second motion makes this a very flexible system which is designed to support LEO/MEO/HEO/GEO satellite operations in addition to many other applications. 


With the explosion in Lan-sat / Earth-sat capabilities, M2 has expanded our range of Dish Feeds, to include broadband and multi-band feeds for a multitude of applications, including SGLS, Communications, Government, University, and many other customers.   Over the years M2 has developed Single, Dual and Multi-band Feeds to meet a multitude of challenging applications.  Either Linear, Circular and simultaneous  Linear/Circular, with or without polarity rotation, M2 has achieved many complex feed challenges.   Reach out to M2, our engineering team are standing by to work with you for the optimal solution to fit your needs.


Government, Military, NASA, Universities and Research Institutes have been using helix antenna in many applications for decades.  For certain applications Helical antenna are the best choice.  M2 has over the years developed a unique approach to the design and fabrication of these ubiquitous antennas.  From a single helix to phased arrays M2 Antenna Systems engineers  have developed solutions to some of the most difficult challenges our our customers have presented  to us.  Contact M2 and let us assist you in meeting your goals.


M2 Antenna Systems inc. have been designing  and fabricating Circular polarized Yagi antennas and phased arrays for many years. We have many models to choose from, ranging through VHF to UHF frequencies. If you can’t  find an antenna to fit your needs, M2 can design and build you the most desirable antenna and systems to meet your needs.


Ever since our first positioning system, M2 has been designing and building (ACU) Antenna Control Units and (RPU) Remote Power Units. From our tried and true RC2800PRK2SU to our new Servo controllers, the RL2200 built by Radeus labs and our RPU-2K-RL-F are the latest in our line of ACU’s


Our AE1000 serries of AZ / EL mount have been ever evolving to incorporate many options to cover many and varying applications. Whether positioning a parabolic dish or a phased array of  VHF/UHF Yagi’s M2 has a mount to optimize your system. Let M2 help you pick the right options for you.


M2 Antenna Systems has developed and upgrade kit for the YEASU G-5500 series of positioners, both the AC and DC drive versions can be updated or re-furbished to the New M2 PR-5500 positioner controller.  The kit comes complete with replacement motors, a 1-RU controller, and 50′ of cabling (Optional up to 100′).  With brushless DC motors using the pulse counts directly from the motors , this kit improves pointing accuracy as well as the reliability of this workhorse positioner used by both Commercial, Government, and the Amateur communities world wide.

The M2-PR-5500 ACU has both USB and Ethernet (TCP/IP) interfaces for flexibility and works with all of the original YEASU command set, allowing for seamless operation using any of the many existing antenna control software packages available.  In addition, the ACU has an expanded command set provided which allows for more precise control and calibration of the G-5500.

Reach out to M2 For your G-5500 repair or upgrade needs, we will be happy to assist.

Terran Orbital

Terran orbital logo

Adam and Alec are ready to answer all your questions.

Adam Thurn - Vice President Engineering at Tyvak

Adam Thurn

Vice President, Engineering

Alec Fuoti Tyvak Engineer

Alec Fuoti

Mechanical Engineer

About Terran Orbital

Terran Orbital is a leading manufacturer of small satellites primarily serving the United States aerospace and defense industry. Terran Orbital provides end-to-end satellite solutions by combining satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and in-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civil, and commercial customers. In addition, Terran Orbital is developing one of the world’s largest, most advanced NextGen Earth Observation constellations to provide persistent, real-time earth imagery. Learn more at www.terranorbital.com

Want to help Solve tomorrow's Problems?

Careers at Terran Orbital

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

For more information reach out to careers@terranorbital.com
Some of our Current Openings
Associate Systems Integration/Test Engineer
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time
IT Security Engineer and Analyst
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time
Configuration Assurance Manager
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time
Test Software Engineer
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time
Spacecraft Systems Engineer
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time
Flight Software Engineer, Spacecraft
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time
Electrical Engineer – Circuit Design
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time
Junior Electrical Engineer
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time
Spacecraft Operator
Irvine, California, United StatesFull time

Our Platforms for Mission Solutions

Terran orbitals Trestles sat platform


Mass at Launch: Up To 25kg
Payload volume: 3U To 9U
Terran orbitals Maverick sat platform


Mass at Launch: Up To 150kg
Payload volume: Up to 100kg
Terran orbitals Zuma sat platform


Mass at Launch: Up To 400kg
Payload volume: Up to 200kg

We are More than just Satellite Bust


Terran orbital photo of dispensers

In house made Modules and components

Terran Orbital photo of modules

World Class tools and technology

Only the best parts survive in space and to make the best parts we believe only the best tools in the hands of the right people can make them. 

Terran Orbital photo of testing equipment

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory MGSS

About MGSS

The Multi-Mission Ground Systems and Services (MGSS) is the organization that manages the common set of overall ground software and services used across NASA-supported spacecraft. Their primary product is AMMOS – the Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System Catalog.


The Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System, or AMMOS, is a set of mission operations and data processing capabilities for robotic missions through an “Ops in a Box” approach. AMMOS is a low-cost, highly reliable system utilized by more than 50 missions, including planetary exploration, deep space, earth science, heliophysics, and astrophysics, by NASA, ESA, industry, and academia.

Meet Our Team at the Cubesat Developers Workshop

Zsarina Benecken
Mission Support Definition & Commitments Manager

Karen Yetter
Mission Interface Engineering Manager

Kris Buckmaster
Mission Interface Engineering Manager

Kris Angkasa
Mission Interface Engineering Manager

Sam Siri
Mission Interface Engineering Manager

Liz De La Torre
MGSS Communications Coordinator

Serj Zadourian
Mission Interface Technical Group Supervisor

Josh Choi
Mission Control Systems Manager

Jeff Levison
Small Scale Flight Software Group Supervisor

Josh Anderson
Small Scale Flight Software Engineer

Our Recent Customers

Mars 2020 (Perseverance Rover)
Launched: July 2020

AMMOS Tools:

  • Instrument Data Processing and Archiving
  • Mission Design and Navigation
  • Mission Control
  • Planning and Sequencing
  • Cross-Cutting Services

Launched: October 2021

AMMOS Tools:

  • Mission Design and Navigation
  • Mission Control
  • Planning and Sequencing
  • Cross-Cutting Services

Launched: December 2021

AMMOS Tools:

  • Mission Design and Navigation
  • Cross-Cutting Services

ARTEMIS-1 + CUBESAT RIDESHARES (ArgoMoon, BioSentinel, CuSP, EQUULEUS, Lunar IceCube, LunaH-Map, NEAScout, OMOTENASHI)
Launch: Summer 2022

AMMOS Tools:

  • Mission Design & Navigation
  • Sequence and Planning
  • Cross-Cutting Services

Interested in Learning More?

Below is link to our AMMOS Catalog which lists all of the products and services that we offer. If you’d like to learn more about how we can serve you, please check out our booth at the Cubesat Developers Workshop or fill out the AMMOS Usage Questionnaire Form online today!

NASA Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute

NASA Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute (S3VI)

Bruce D. Yost


Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute

Craig D. Burkhard, Ph.D.

Deputy Director

Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute

About NASA’s Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute

NASA’s Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute (S3VI) endeavors to advance clear communications and coordination regarding small spacecraft activities across NASA; provide the US small spacecraft research community with access to mission enabling information; maintain engagement with small spacecraft stakeholders in industry, government and academia; and to support the overall small spacecraft community. The S3VI is a NASA-wide virtual institute managed at NASA Ames Research Center, with participation from multiple NASA centers and NASA Headquarters. The S3VI is jointly sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and the Science Mission Directorate.

Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute

The 2020 edition of NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology State-of-the-Art report captures and distills the wealth of new information available on small spacecraft systems from NASA and other publicly available sources. This report is a survey of small spacecraft technologies sourced from open literature; it does not endeavor to be an original source, and only considers literature in the public domain to identify and classify devices. Commonly used sources for data include manufacturer datasheets, press releases, conference papers, journal papers, public filings with government agencies, news articles, presentations, and the Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute Federated Search.

The S3VI hosts a public webinar series to share information with the community at large on work NASA, partner agencies, and other members of the community are performing in the area of small spacecraft. Speakers from NASA centers, partner agencies and NASA-funded universities present on a wide variety of small spacecraft topics including all phases of mission design, development, and operations; regulatory and process-oriented requirements; exploration and scientific strategies, and opportunities for the community.

The S3VI publishes a quarterly digest of resources and activities occurring in the NASA and external small spacecraft communities. With the quickened pace of small spacecraft technology innovation, associated missions, and developments in launch capabilities, the amount of information available on the Internet is significant.

The S3VI newsletter offers a summary of links to our more popular web portal content to include mission design tools, recent NASA small spacecraft developments and accomplishments, events, solicitations, as well as other useful information.

If you are interested in receiving the newsletter, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Want to learn about advanced SmallSat technologies that could enable your future mission or be accessed for commercialization? Sign up to attend the SmallSat Technology Partnerships (STP) Technology Exposition being held Monday, May 24.

The virtual STP TechExpo will highlight advanced communications, navigation, constellation coordination, and other SmallSat technologies emerging from recent university-NASA partnerships funded under NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology program’s STP initiative. STP teams in attendance will answer questions about technology transfer for your mission or product.

Visit the 2021 TechExpo webpage for more information.

NASA’s S3VI uses web technologies, databases, and virtual collaboration tools to collect, organize, and disseminate small spacecraft knowledge for the benefit of NASA and the community. S3VI has established this federated search capability that serves as an entry point to the SmallSat Parts On Orbit Now (SPOON) database and other NASA-internal and external databases to allow the public to search multiple databases for small spacecraft parts, technologies and conference proceedings. 

The Small Satellite Reliability Initiative (SSRI), in conjunction with NASA’s S3VI, has developed the SSRI Knowledge Base to improve mission confidence for small spacecraft. The SSRI Knowledge Base is a comprehensive online tool that consolidates and organizes resources, best practices, and lessons learned from previous small satellite missions. This free, publicly available tool is available to the entire SmallSat community at https://s3vi.ndc.nasa.gov/ssri-kb/

Please visit the Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute website for more information or email us.



Virtual Exhibit Booth: https://calpoly.zoom.us/j/89020493339?

April 27, 2021 @ 10AM-12PM PT | April 28, 2021 @ 2PM-4PM PT | April 29, 2021 @ 8:30 – 9:30 AM PT

Please contact me at kleidman@airphoton.com


Our leadership team has extensive experience designing and supporting satellite missions.  Our expertise extends from cubesats to full size payloads and mission design to delivering data products.

Vanderlei Martins AirPhoton CTO

Vanderlei Martins

Chief Technical Officer

Dr. Vanderlei Martins has developed and designed cubesat and full sized satellite instruments payloads.  His team at UMBC designed and built the Hyper Angle Rainbow Polarimeter (HARP) cubesat for studying aerosols and clouds.  The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) named HARP the 2020 Small Satellite Mission of the Year.

Lorraine Remer

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Lorraine Remer has extensive experience in creating and implementing satellite data algorithms as well as calibration and validation activities.  She led the NASA Goddard Dark Target Aerosol Group from 2004 – 2012. She was a co-investigator on the HARP cubesat project.

She is an AGU fellow.

Oleg Dubovik

GRASP-SAS Chief Scientist

Dr. Oleg Dubovik is the lead developer of the  Generalized Retrieval of  Atmosphere and Surface Properties  (GRASP) and founder of GRASP – SAS.

GRASP  is the first unified algorithm and a software package developed for retrieving atmospheric properties from wide variety of remote sensing observations including satellite, ground-based and airborne data.

He is an AGU fellow.

Richard Kleidman

Chief Operating Officer

Rich Kleidman has been the COO of AirPhoton since its inception in 2012.  He has been (and continues to) be a support scientist for the MODIS Dark Target Aerosol Group at NASA GSFC as an SSAI employee.

He helped to develop the NASA ARSET training program during the first four years of its inception.

About AirPhoton

AirPhoton is a small Maryland based company. We design and manufacture instruments to measure airborne particulates.  We also offer support and data services for satellite instruments.  We are partnering with GRASP-SAS to offer end to end services and will be launching our own cubesat instruments in conjunction with GRASP.

AirPhoton and GRASP-SAS Projects and Services

Satellite Payloads

Payload Designs

Although our primary focus is on particulate monitoring and air quality we also have payload designs for:

  • Weather and clouds
  • Fire monitoring
  • Land cover
  • Snow & Ice monitoring


In-situ data can provide important information for cal-val activities and or other supporting data for satellite payloads.  AirPhoton produces a line of ground based instruments for particulate monitoring. We use both filter based and optical systems. These instruments can also be modified for aircraft use.

Filter Based Sampling Systems

The AeroExplorer is a filter based system that allows for completely programmable collection of particulates on filters.  Several of these instruments can be modified for aircraft use.

See the web page for a more complete explanation of the AeroExplorer and its capabilities.

The AeroExplorer is being used by NASA JPL to support its MAIA satellite program.

Optical Based Sampling Systems

Nephelometers – AirPhoton has several models of nephelometers from simple to complex.  The more advanced models can provide a full size distribution. Please see our Nephelometer web page for more information


GRASP  is the first unified algorithm and a software package developed for retrieving atmospheric properties from wide variety of remote sensing observations including satellite, ground-based and airborne data.

It infers nearly 50 aerosol and surface parameters including particle size distribution, the spectral index of refraction, the degree of sphericity and absorption. The algorithm is designed for the enhanced characterization of aerosol properties from spectral, multiangular polarimetric remote sensing observations. GRASP works under different conditions, including bright surfaces such as deserts, where the reflectance overwhelms the signal of aerosols. GRASP is highly versatile and allows input from a wide variety of satellite and surface measurements.

GRASP Services

  • Data processing
  • Software customization
  • Production system development from raw data to results, including user interface and all the tools needed to optimize code
  • Consulting

Level 1 Data Processing

We provide level 1 data processing services.

Raw data from a satellite needs a lot of processing before it can be used.  This includes calibration, georeferencing, and translating into engineering units. AirPhoton has extensive experience in this kind of processing including working with polarized data.


Sensor performance will vary over time as various components age and/or flaws are discovered. AirPhoton and GRASP-SAS have extensive experience in using ground and airborne instruments as well as data systems to calibrate and validate sensor performance and level I and Level II products.

COSATS – Keep Your Pace with Space

COSATS is an international commercial spaceflight company, mainly engaged in the development of satellite platforms,subsystems, and services of space missions.The company’s core team has rich experience in space research and development.The subsystems and services have been widely used in satellites, drones, and airships.





COSPOD CubeSat Deployer


Envelope/mm3   Mass/kg
1U 190.0×197.0×188.0 1.5
2U 190.0×197.0×304.0 1.8
3U 190.0×197.0×424.0 2.0
6U 196.0×327.0×436.0 4.5
12U 321.0×347.0×436.0 5.5

Flight Heritage

In 2016, the first set of CubeSat deployers successfully released the world’s first 12U CubeSat. On May 5, 2020, the COSPOD-3D deployer carried by China’s new generation manned spacecraft completed the world’s first in-orbit flight test of a CubeSat deployer based on 3D printing technology. Now, the COSPOD series has been used in many CubeSat missions, such as 3U, 6U, 12U.

Lead Time

4~6 weeks



Rated Thrust Rated thrust deviation Rated vacuum specific impulse Total impulse
0.5N ≤±0.05N ≥200s ≥500Ns


High energy environmental protection green propellant;
Easy to use, prepackaged, no need for on-site refueling;
Small in size and light in mass;
High reliability;

 Flight Plan

The HAN green propulsion systems will be used in three missions in 2022.

Lead Time

6 months

X Band High Speed Communication System


  • Uplink telecommand rate: 1024bps~16384bps;
  • Downlink telemetry rate: 4096bps~16384bps;
  • High Speed Data Transmission rate: 10Mbps/20Mbps/50Mbps/100Mbp/300Mbps;
  • High speed data transmission modulation mode: QPSK;
  • Data speed data transmission coding method: LDPC, coding rate: 7 /8
  • Storage capacity: ≥ 256Gbit
  • Size:94.3mm×90.3mm×46mm;
  • Mass:≤550g;
  • Working temperature: -20 ℃ ~ + 50 ℃;
  • Storage temperature:-40 ℃ ~ + 85 ℃;
  • Power consumption

Telecommand mode: ≤ 6.5W;  

Telecommand + telemetry mode: ≤ 13W;  

Flight Heritage

The radio has been used in over 30 missions since October 2018.

Lead Time

4~6 weeks

COSGNSS Receiver


  • In Orbit Positioning Accuracy: <10m (1σ);
  • Speed Measurement Accuracy: <0.2 m/s (1σ);
  • Operating voltage:5V~30V;
  • Size:100mm×100mm×24mm(with shell)

94mm×94mm×18.4mm(without shell);

  • Mass:<150g (with shell)

<100g (without shell);

  • Power consumption: <2.4W;
  • Interface: CAN/RS422;
  • Operating temperature: -40°C~75°C.

Flight Heritage

Since its first flight in 2016, over ten  satellite missions have used COSGNSS receivers.

Lead Time

5~8 weeks

Star Tracker


Envelope/mm3 Mass/g Accuracy/″
PST3S-K4 Φ40×35(baffle folded) 60±10(baffle included) ≤5″[3σ] pointing
≤50″[3σ] rolling
PST3S-G1 Φ64×133(fixed baffle) 130±10(baffle included) ≤3″[3σ] pointing
≤30″[3σ] rolling
NST20-G3 120×140×246(fixed baffle) 1200±50(baffle included) ≤1″[3σ] pointing
≤6″[3σ] rolling

Flight Heritage

At present, more than 100 missions have used this series of products

Lead Time

5~8 weeks

COSAMU Attitude Measurement Unit


FOV of Sun Sensor/° Angle Accuracy of  Sun/° Angular Velocity Range °/s
≤120 <0.5 -2000~2000
Angular Velocity Resolution Magnet Field Range/μT Accuracy of Magnet Field/ nT
0.030517 800 25


  • It integrates a sun sensor, a three-axis gyroscope, and a three-axis magnetometer;
  • Small size, light mass;
  • The system is based on a delicate non-magnetic design method to reduce the negative effect of the magnetic field generated by the system itself on the measured data;
  • Conformal coating is used.

Lead Time

4~8 weeks

More Products




CEO Xue-Guoliang

  • Member of the Professional Committee of the Command and Control Institute
  • Engaged in micro-nano satellite research for many years
  • Participated in several major micro/nano satellite projects at home and abroad
  • Rich experience in team management and spacecraft development
  • Gold Medal of China Association for Science and Technology Annual Conference National Science and Technology Workers Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, first prize of Science and Technology Progress of Shaanxi Province.

COO Bai-Ruixue

  • Former Deputy director of Xinhua News Agency Editor-in-chief office
  • Visiting Scholar, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Member, IAF Space Education Committee
  • Awarded national honorary titles and awards for more than ten times, such as national
  • Outstanding journalist and National March eighth Pacesetter
  • Rich experience in aerospace enterprise management and project planning, implementation, promotion, investment and financing


  • Previous System Designer of satellite in China Academy of Space Technology
  • satellite development of GF-1\SuperView-1\GF-6 and others
  • Participation in the subject research and development of “ 13th five-year Plan of Civil Aerospace” and National key R & D projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology
  • Rich experienced in system design and development of spacecraft

Vincent Pereira


Freeport High School: Vincent Pereira, Victor Villatoro, Mia Sorrentino, Gilbert Rosario, Ethan Patterson, Yoendy Torres Almonte, Keyla Romero, June Cumento, David de la Llera, Lourdes Saunders, Jaileen Almonte, Melissa Bell, Jayden Easy, William Perry, Ryan Retzlaff, Cyler Witherspoon, Richard Johnson, Anthony Murray, Daniel Ciamaricone, Elodie Bourbon, Louis Inzerilli

Brookhaven National Laboratory: Dr. David Beirsach

Freeport High School is a finalist in the U.S. Department of Education’s CTE Mission: CubeSat, a national competition to bring space missions to high school students. Freeport received cash prizes, development kits and expert mentorship donated to the U. S. Department of Education by Arduino, Blue Origin, Chevron, EnduroSat, LEGO Education, Magnitude.io, MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, and XinaBox. Our CubeSat will contain an Arduino MKR WAN 1310 board, MKR GPS sensor, MKR MEM shield with a SD card, MKR IMU shield, and a lithium-polymer battery. The structure of the CubeSat was done by students in Industrial Drafting, CAD classes using AutoCAD, Sketchup, and a 3D printer. The CubeSat will be carried by a drone and its flight controlled by students in Video Media Production class. We will use this experience to teach a summer CubeSat class.

Team members will be available to speak with you on Wednesday, April 28th, and Thursday, April 29th, at 11 AM



To expand student interest in STEM fields, the U.S. Department of Education launched CTE Mission: CubeSat, a national challenge to inspire students to build technical skills for careers in space and beyond. High school students from across the country were invited to design and develop CubeSat prototypes, or satellites that aid in space research, bringing space missions out of the clouds and into the classroom [1]. The excitement and challenge of allowing students to do “real” things in space is a motivational experience that cannot be achieved by teaching in a classroom and represents education at its best [2]. Freeport High School was among the finalists chosen in this competition.


The primary mission of our CubeSat is to gather environmental observations to support authentic student research and create citizen scientists.  For the past few years, Freeport High School students have taken part in the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program. Students from nearly 40,000 schools located in approximately 120 countries participate in this program. In our CubeSat we will use two infrared imagers in specific bands to observe the surface temperature of Earth. Students will use this data in their ongoing effort to study the urban heat island effect. If successful, our CubeSat can be employed as a dedicated satellite to the GLOBE program giving it another educational dimension. Improvements on future launches may allow us to make measurements that can challenge large-scale satellite` cost-effectiveness by capturing comparable scientific data. 

Our mission will also use the CubeSat flight to study the principle of the conservation of mechanical energy. From the position and velocity of the CubeSat, students will be able to  calculate the total mechanical energy. The orbit of the CubeSat will be modified by perturbations resulting from air drag. We plan to use our data to determine the drag coefficient at the initial stages of changes in the CubeSat trajectory.  

Mentors provided by the U.S. Department of Education

Subject Matter Experts provided by the U.S. Department of Education

List of Webinars on Selected Space Topics

Professor Robert Twiggs                                              Space Environments

Robert Atkins                                                                 Space Innovation Course Lessons

Professor Robert Twiggs                                              Space Communications

Figure 1: Ted Tagami (Magnitude.io) engaging with Freeport Students

Figure 2: David Cuartielles (Arduino) engaging with Freeport Students

Science Payload

As a result of participation in the GLOBE program our students took temperatures of the concrete and grassy surfaces outside Freeport High School. These measurements were taken from the months of October to March. The maximum and minimum average temperature during these months of either surface are recorded in the Table below. We then used Planck’s blackbody radiation formula to convert these temperatures into wavelengths [3].

Maximum/Minimum Average Temperature (0C)                 Peak Wavelength (Microns)

                                      22.6                                                                            9.8

                                       3.6                                                                            10.5

These wavelengths are in the infrared range and we will use infrared cameras to observe these surfaces from space. Therefore, if the infrared camera can measure the intensity of a perfect black body at a particular wavelength we can use Planck Blackbody formula to calculate its temperature [3].

There are two problems with this approach. The ground is not a perfect black body. A bigger problem is the fact that water vapor present in the atmosphere also absorbs infrared radiation. Therefore, we cannot used Planck’s formula to measure the temperature of the Earth’s surface. In the split window technique [4-6], we measure the radiation emitted at two wavelengths that are very near each other like 9.8 and 10.5 microns. We measure the temperature of the Earth’s surface using the following Split Window formula:

In the above formula, B is the Planck function, I1and I2 are the measured intensities at the two different wavelengths, and γ is a constant that depends on the water vapor content, viewing angle, transmittance and emissivity. The split window technique assumes that the correction due to water vapor is proportional to the difference in intensities of the two wavelengths.

Electronics and Computing

Figure 3 

Figure 3 displays the electronics in our prototype. At the top is the MKR IMU shield, followed by MKR GPS sensor, Arduino MKR WAN 1310 board, and MKR MEM shield with a SD (secure memory) card and an antenna. Arduino gave the sensor, boards, and antenna. A rechargeable 1200 mAH lithium-polymer battery supplies the power. We have included a square LED for demonstration purposes, which will light up if the pitch angle is less than 70 degrees and more than 110 degrees (Figure 3 and 4). To ensure that the required current goes to the LED we have included a 330-ohm resistor. 

Block Diagram of Computer Code in Arduino board inside Prototype [7]

The CubeSat will be launched by a Mavic Mini drone manufactured by DJI. There is also an Arduino MKR WAN 1310 board (also donated by Arduino) connected by USB cable to a laptop on the ground.


Figure 4: CubeSat Assembly


Launch Objectives

To obtain the GPS coordinates, altitude, latitude, and longitude at various time intervals. We also plan to test the accuracy of our GPS values by comparing them to the GPS values obtained by the sensors on the drone.

Determine the maximum distance digital data can be consistently transmitted via LoRa-based wireless communication links.  

We want to find out if Google Earth can use our GPS data, saved as NMEA 0183 sentences, to show the terrain (towns/roads) over which the drone passed by when in flight. This information is essential because we want to find the temperature differences between cities and urban areas. Google Earth will help us identify the towns and rural areas.

Introduction to attitude control. We have included an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor that will give us the yaw, pitch and roll angles to measure the rotation of the CubeSat. This information is required to ensure that the camera is pointing towards the ground when taking photographs.

Educational Objectives of Launch

The GPS coordinates will enable us to calculate the satellite`s gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy. We will also introduce students to the sources of GPS errors and methods developed to reduce such errors.

Introduce students to Section 25.4.8 [2]. The additional resource includes Professor Twiggs`s presentation on CubeSat Communications.  

Generate excitement among the student body (including elementary students) by using VR headsets to see the Google Earth data in 3D.

Students will be introduced to rigid body rotation and their description using Euler angles. Euler angle convention of yaw, pitch, and roll will be explained to students. Students will also be introduced to the problem of gimbal lock that nearly occurred in NASA’S Apollo lunar missions.

CTE Connections

In the Drafting & Design program we have students working on the structure design component of the project. Students in Industrial Drafting and CAD classes have created detailed drawings of the CubeSat structure design using traditional drafting techniques and engineering software programs. These designs were then used to create working prototype models on a 3-D printer.

Students in our Electrical Engineering classes have worked to connect and test the computing, power, communication and data storage components required for the CubeSat structure to operate.

The Video Media Production class includes a Drone unit where students learn to fly a drone to record specialized video content. Students in this class are working on the launch component of the project and using the drone to fly and test the CubeSat prototype.

In the CTE Business Computer Applications program students are working to create a marketing plan to promote the CubeSat project. In the Web Page Design Class students are creating a CubeSat web page which will include details and updates related to the project

Future Work

One possible next step would be to use the IMU control code to trigger a cheap infrared camera to take a snapshot of the school’s exhaust stack when the attitude is right. This would teach students much of the thermal imaging basics.


[1] https://www.ed.gov/press-releases/U.S. Department of Education Launches Space Mission Challenge for High School Students, August 18, 2020.

[2] Space Operations and Ground Stations by Robert Twiggs and Benjamin Malphrus, Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD, Wertz, J.R., Everett, D.F., Puschell, J.J., editors, Microcosm Press, Torrance, CA (2018).

[3] Physical Chemistry, Atkins, P, De Paula, J. Oxford University Press (2010).

[4] Price, J. C., 1984 Land surface temperature measurements from the split window channels of NOAA 7advanced very high-resolution radiometer. J. Geophyys. Res. Atmos. 89 (D5), 7231-7237.

[5] McMillin, L. M., 1975 Estimation of sea surface temperatures from two infrared window measurements with different absorption. J. Geophys. Res. 80 (36), 5113-5117.

[6]. Wang, M., He, G., Zhang, Z., Wang, G., Wang, Z., Yin, R., Cui, S., Wu, Z., Cao, X., 2019. A radiance-based split-window algorithm for land surface temperature retrieval: Theory and application to MODIS dat. Int. J. Appl. Earth Obs. Geoinformation 76, 204-217.

[7] https://github.com/dbiersach/CUBESAT/blob/main/Arduino/CUBESAT_GPS/CUBESAT_GPS.ino