From the National Sciencer Foundation comes this announcement of grant funds available for CubeSat-based science missions. For those who believe in the potential of miniature spacecraft, this is exciting stuff. A CubeSat bus is 10cm on a side, and a CubeSat weighs about 1 kg. The concept got its start as an educational tool from a Stanford University laboratory, SSDL. The NSF proposal is a recognition that tiny satellites, launched cheaply as secondary payloads, can do important work as well as providing opportunities for the next generation of aerospace engineers.
National Science Foundation;
CubeSat-based Science Missions for Space Weather and Atmospheric Research
DESCRIPTION: Lack of essential observations from space is currently a major limiting factor in space weather research. Recent advances in sensor and spacecraft technoloandshy;gies make it feasible to obtain key measurements from low-cost, small satellite missions. A particularly promising aspect of this development is the prospect for obtaining multi-point observations in space that are critical for addressing many outstanding problems in space science. Space-based measurements from small satellites also have great potential to advance discovery and understanding in other areas of atmospheric sciences. To take full advantage of these developments, NSF is soliciting research proposals centered on small satellite missions.
The overarching goal of the program is to support the development, construction, launch, operation, and data analysis of small satellite science missions to advance space weather and atmospheric research. Equally important, it will provide essential opportunities to train the next generation of experimental space scientists and aerospace engineers.
To facilitate launch of the satellites as secondary payloads on existing missions, the focus of the program is on CubeSat-based satellites. Launch of the satellites will be through the standardized CubeSat deployment system, the Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD). Launch of the P-PODS will be as auxiliary payloads on DOD, NASA, or commercial launches. This will be arranged directly by NSF and is not part of this solicitation. Beginning in 2009, NSF expects to launch two to four P-PODs every year, accommodating at least as many (three to six) individual satellite missions. This solicitation covers proposals for science missions to include satellite development, construction, testing and operation as well as data distribution and scientific analysis.
DOCUMENT TYPE: Grant
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY NUMBER: 08-549
POSTED DATE: 20080228
ORIGINAL DUE DATE FOR APPLICATION: 02102009
CURRENT DUE DATE FOR APPLICATION: Full Proposal Deadline(s): May 28, 2008 February 10, 2009 February 10, Annually Thereafter
FUNDING INSTRUMENT TYPE: Grant
CATEGORY OF FUNDING ACTIVITY: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
CATEGORY INFORMATION: Not Available
EXPECTED NUMBER OF AWARDS: 6
ESTIMATED TOTAL PROGRAM FUNDING: 900000
AWARD CEILING: 900000
AWARD FLOOR: 300000
CFDA NUMBER: 47.050
COST SHARING OR MATCHING REQUIREMENT: N
ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: 99
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ELIGIBILITY: Not Available
AGENCY NAME: National Science Foundation
CONTACT: NSF grants.gov support