Number of satellites: 1
Form factor: 12 U
CHIPS is a 12 U satellite which, placed on a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude possibly between 600 and 650 km, has the following scientific goals: identify the Gamma Ray Bursts that originate in the early Universe, identify infrared counterparts of gravitational wave sources, discover potentially habitable Earth-like planets around nearby cold stars, study the Near-Earth Asteroid family. The payload consists of an infrared telescope with the focal plane chamber actively cooled. To achieve these results CHIPS will have to implement various technological innovations for a CubeSat: Provide stable pointing with rapid re-targeting capability, within 120s of a trigger, have the satellite's attitude controlled by mini star trackers and reaction wheels capable of rotating the satellite at a speed of 3 deg s-1 and maintaining a pointing accuracy better than 5 arc seconds, implement continuous communication capability, via an IRIDIUM modem, while an S-band radio antenna will provide data transfer. In addition, an in-orbit technology demonstration is planned to demonstrate autonomous navigation capability. The platform is also suitable for accurate observations of the Earth, as well as of the sky, for example to observe the trend of glaciers, for the surveillance of forest fires or for applications in precision agriculture.
Proposing team: INAF (Prime), Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI)n