Miniature X-Ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) - A Science-Oriented, University 3U CubeSat

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Friday, August 28, 2015

James P. Mason, Thomas N. Woods, Amir Caspi, Phillip C. Chamberlin, Christopher Moore, Andrew Jones, Rick Kohnert, Xinlin Li, Scott Palo, Stanley Solomon
(Submitted on 21 Aug 2015)

The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) is a 3-Unit (3U) CubeSat developed at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU). Over 40 students contributed to the project with professional mentorship and technical contributions from professors in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at CU and from LASP scientists and engineers.

The scientific objective of MinXSS is to study processes in the dynamic Sun, from quiet-Sun to solar flares, and to further understand how these changes in the Sun influence the Earth's atmosphere by providing unique spectral measurements of solar soft x-rays (SXRs). The enabling technology providing the advanced solar SXR spectral measurements is the Amptek X123, a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) silicon drift detector (SDD).

The Amptek X123 has a low mass (~324 g after modification), modest power consumption (~2.5 W), and small volume (2.7" x 3.9" x 1.0"), making it ideal for a CubeSat. This paper provides an overview of the MinXSS mission: the science objectives, project history, subsystems, and lessons learned that can be useful for the small-satellite community.

Comments: 30 pages, 13 figures; submitted to Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph); Instrumentation and Detectors (physics.ins-det); Space Physics (
Cite as: arXiv:1508.05354 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1508.05354v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Amir Caspi
[v1] Fri, 21 Aug 2015 18:28:32 GMT (1239kb)

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