Status: In Development
AGS6’s primary mission is to demonstrate the functionality of a RF patch array device for applications in space-based space domain awareness systems. AGS6’s secondary mission is to sample the low-energy electron radiation environment on Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to enhance existing radiation models.
The space environment is becoming increasingly congested, competitive and contested. In order to adapt to the rising challenge that increased access to space poses and to meet the high demand for space traffic management, new technologies and methods must be developed. Space-based Space Domain Awareness (SDA) systems must be developed as an alternative to the vulnerable ground-based SDA systems that have been used for years. As part of the University Nanosatellite Program’s (UNP) NanoSat-10 program, AGS6 offers a solution.
AGS6 will host two payloads into LEO aboard a 6U Cubesat. The primary payload will be an antenna array device designed to augment existing SDA capabilities. The secondary payload will be Teledyn’s LowLET Micro-Dosimeter to measure low-energy electrons in the LEO environment. Collected data can then be downlinked to a ground station in The Aerospace Corporation’s network of ground stations throughout the United States.
In order to demonstrate the potential for space-based SDA systems, the satellite will use the RF patch array device to passively collect signals from a satellite constellation constellation above AGS6. The raw antenna data will then be downlinked to the ground, where it can be processed in order to determine a direction of arrival vector of the emitting overhead satellite. If the direction of arrival vector is accurate to within 4.2 degrees of error, it will be considered to have met the full mission success criteria. In addition to the antenna array device, AGS6 will collect radiation data and downlink it to a ground station for further processing by the Aerospace Corporation.