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TOMOGRAPHIC REMOTE OBSERVER OF IONOSPHERIC DISTURBANCES (TOROID)

Utah State University is currently part of the 4th University Nanosatellite Competition. This competition is sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics(AIAA) and funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Design and safety-related guidance is provided by NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Eleven participating universities will compete over a two year period. The satellite that wins the competition will then receive a free ride on a launch vehicle and be placed into low earth orbit. The purpose of the competition is to provide workforce training through design and fabrication of a satellite and to develop the small satellite technology area.

Utah State University's entry into the competition is called TOROID. It uses the bus of USUsat II, Utah State Universiy's entry in the last competition. Following are the mission statement and objectives of the current mission.

Mission Statement:

TOROID will record variations and fluctuations in night-side Far UV emissions in the ionosphere from 185 km to 1,000 km altitude, to aid in further understanding of space weather/ionospheric interactions. TOROID will also demonstrate several technologies and design approaches intended to enable low-cost, short lead time satellite production (< 1 yr).

Science Objectives:

Test and validate the concept of a duplexed monopole antenna PIP. Measure electron temperature, density, and collision frequency in equatorial plasma bubbles. Test and validate the concept of the TOROID mechanism.

Technology Demonstration Objectives:

  • Provide a modular structure platform for USU/SDL that can be re-configured and re-used at low cost (focus on manufacturing techniques).
  • Flight-test a highly integrated, low-power command and control system.
  • Demonstrate the use of low-cost, low-power CMOS cameras for attitude determination.
  • Develop Low cost re-settable antenna hinge mechanism with no-latching energy that can also be used for solar panel deployment.

TORIOD Fact Sheet