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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Ultra-compact Freeform Optics for Modular CubeSats - A Novel Ultra-compact Star Scanner

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

This research uses the radically emerging field of freeform optics to create new instruments and sensors for modular CubeSat designs. As CubeSat and NanoSat opportunities continue to grow, so do the demands for ever smaller instruments to fit within these volume-constrained packages.

The proposed early-stage, freeform-optic design will investigate the potential for an ultra-compact instrument design for integrated Cubesat structures that simplify the design of traditional configurations. We envision that this could be the first of many instrument/sensor systems that would be designed to fit into a standard frame, and can be easily swapped with other components. This modularity would significantly reduce CubeSat development time, cost, and integration.

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