INSPIRE-SAT 7, a Second CubeSat to Measure the Earth’s Energy Budget and to Probe the Ionosphere
Earth and related Environmental sciences
climate observation and monitoring
Earth’s energy budget
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INSPIRE-SAT 7 is a French 2-Unit CubeSat (11.5 × 11.5 × 22.7 cm) primarily designed for Earth and Sun observation. INSPIRE-SAT 7 is one of the missions of the International Satellite Program in Research and Education (INSPIRE). Twice the size of a 4 × 4 Rubik’s Cube and weighing about 3 kg, INSPIRE-SAT 7 will be deployed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in 2023 to join its sister satellite, UVSQ-SAT. INSPIRE-SAT 7 represents one of the in-orbit demonstrators needed to test how two Earth observation CubeSats in orbit can be utilized to set up a satellite constellation. This new scientific and technological pathfinder CubeSat mission (INSPIRE-SAT 7) uses a multitude of miniaturized sensors on all sides of the CubeSat to measure the Earth’s energy budget components at the top-of-the-atmosphere for climate change studies. INSPIRE-SAT 7 contains also a High-Frequency (HF) payload that will receive HF signals from a ground-based HF transmitter to probe the ionosphere for space weather studies. Finally, this CubeSat is equipped with several technological demonstrators (total solar irradiance sensors, UV sensors to measure solar spectral irradiance, a new Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) wireless communication system, a new versatile telecommunication system suitable for CubeSat). After introducing the objectives of the INSPIRE-SAT 7 mission, we present the satellite definition and the mission concept of operations. We also briefly show the observations made by the UVSQ-SAT CubeSat, and assess how two CubeSats in orbit could improve the information content of their Earth’s energy budget measurements. We conclude by reporting on the potential of future missions enabled by CubeSat constellations.
CitationMeftah, M.; Boust, F.; Keckhut, P.; Sarkissian, A.; Boutéraon, T.; Bekki, S.; Damé, L.; Galopeau, P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Dufour, C.; Finance, A.; Vieau, A.-J.; Bertran, E.; Gilbert, P.; Caignard, N.; Dias, C.; Engler, J.-L.; Lacroix, P.; Grossel, K.; Rannou, V.; Saillant, S.; Avelino, Y.; Azoulay, B.; Brand, C.; Dominguez, C.; Haasz, A.; Paskeviciute, A.; Segura, K.; Maso, P.; Ancelin, S.; Mercier, C.; Stee, V.; Mangin, A.; Bolsée, D.; Billard, C. (2022). INSPIRE-SAT 7, a Second CubeSat to Measure the Earth’s Energy Budget and to Probe the Ionosphere. , Remote Sensing, Vol. 14, Issue 1, A186, DOI: 10.3390/rs14010186.