AutoCAD model of the OreSat 0.5 satellite. The lens housing for the CFC is shown at the bottom. Credit/PSAS.

The OreSat mission is a 2U CubeSat developed by the Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS), UMBC’s ESI, and University College London (UCL). The OreSat mission will launch to space in 2024 to demonstrate global mapping and characterization of cirrus cloud properties from a CubeSat platform. Lessons learned from this mission (“OreSat 0.5”) will influence the development of an optimized OreSat satellite later this year (2024).

The main payload on OreSat is the Cirrus Flux Camera (CFC). The CFC is a pushbroom imaging radiometer with three spectral bands: 870 (30), 1390 (35), and 1590 (40) nm. Wavelength selection is done using three spectral filters overlaid on an InGaAs focal plane array. All three band regions are simultaneously acquired in each image. The specific configuration of the CFC detector filters is a technology demonstration for the AirHARP2 SWIR sensor and future HARP-like developments.

ESI engineers Dominik Cieslak and Danny Nelson calibrate OreSat at NASA GSFC. The “Grande” integration sphere (green, back) produces stable and well-known radiance at several illumination levels.

Prior to launch, OreSat was calibrated at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Radiometric Calibration Laboratory (RCL). OreSat was characterized for dark current, spatial response, linearity, and absolute calibration using several NIST-traceable radiance levels, detector integration times (35 – 240µs), and temperature setpoints (-5 to 5C). Further polarization sensitivity and modulation transfer function testing was done at UMBC prior to shipment to PSU.

For more information and development timeline, visit the Portland State Aerospace Society website.