Morehead State University

Poster Title

The Cosmic X-Ray Background NanoSat (CXBN): Measuring the Cosmic X-Ray Background Using the CubeSat Form Factor

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

The CXBN mission goal is to significantly increase the Cosmic X-Ray Background measurement precision in the 30-50 keV range. The mission addresses a fundamental science question that is central to our understanding of the structure, origin, and evolution of the universe by potentially lending insight into both the high energy background radiation and evolution of primordial galaxies. X-Ray spectrum investigations necessitate using space platforms because of the attenuation by the Earth’s atmosphere. The CXBN spacecraft will map the Extragalactic Diffuse X-Ray Background (DXB) with a new breed of Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) detector. The DXB measurement will pose a powerful tool for understanding the early universe and provides a window to the most energetic objects in the far-away universe. The science objectives were condensed into a novel spacecraft concept characterized by a sun-pointing, spinning spacecraft (1/6 Hz) in LEO with moderate inclination. Trajectories for launch allow 4 nominal passes per day over the primary Earth station at Morehead State University (Morehead, KY). Science data and spacecraft telemetry will be downloaded at the MSU Earth station and will serve as the primary command and control facilities. Innovative systems include power distribution, command and data handling, and attitude determination and control system all developed at Morehead State University. Both the science program and the spacecraft engineering have been conducted by graduate and undergraduate students in concert with university faculty mentors. CXBN is a CubeSat mission that has been developed at low cost and on a highly constrained 12 month timeline, but with potentially significant science returns.

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The Cosmic X-Ray Background NanoSat (CXBN): Measuring the Cosmic X-Ray Background Using the CubeSat Form Factor

The CXBN mission goal is to significantly increase the Cosmic X-Ray Background measurement precision in the 30-50 keV range. The mission addresses a fundamental science question that is central to our understanding of the structure, origin, and evolution of the universe by potentially lending insight into both the high energy background radiation and evolution of primordial galaxies. X-Ray spectrum investigations necessitate using space platforms because of the attenuation by the Earth’s atmosphere. The CXBN spacecraft will map the Extragalactic Diffuse X-Ray Background (DXB) with a new breed of Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) detector. The DXB measurement will pose a powerful tool for understanding the early universe and provides a window to the most energetic objects in the far-away universe. The science objectives were condensed into a novel spacecraft concept characterized by a sun-pointing, spinning spacecraft (1/6 Hz) in LEO with moderate inclination. Trajectories for launch allow 4 nominal passes per day over the primary Earth station at Morehead State University (Morehead, KY). Science data and spacecraft telemetry will be downloaded at the MSU Earth station and will serve as the primary command and control facilities. Innovative systems include power distribution, command and data handling, and attitude determination and control system all developed at Morehead State University. Both the science program and the spacecraft engineering have been conducted by graduate and undergraduate students in concert with university faculty mentors. CXBN is a CubeSat mission that has been developed at low cost and on a highly constrained 12 month timeline, but with potentially significant science returns.