Trailblazer
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Trailblazer Satellite

Trail BlazerWe have been notified by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that UNM’s Trailblazer satellite has been manifested on the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) IV Mission. The Trailblazer satellite is part of a class of nanosatellites called CubeSats. It will be delivered to be launched in 2013 on the Operationally Responsive Space(ORS) ORS-3 launch. This satellite will provide a proof-of-concept flight for an Air Force Sponsored bus technology called Space Plug-and-play Architecture (SPA). The PnP type architecture is a capability that will allow for rapid development and delivery of satellite and defense systems similar to what is currently available in a home computer. UNM and its partners have taught more than 800 individuals on SPA in the past 36 months.

The Configurable Space Microsystems Innovations and Applications Center (COSMIAC) at the University of New Mexico (UNM) is building Trailblazer. Trailblazer has three missions. First is to provide a proof of concept to SPA. Second is to provide flight heritage and receive radiation exposure measurements from a dosimeter designed by COSMIAC in partnership with the Air Force Research Lab. Finally, Trailblazer will be providing a space qualification platform for an exciting additive manufacturing technology designed by the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). All of these goals have key components for advancing the missions of NASA. The first is to perform a flight test an open-source satellite bus architecture. This project will advance space technology by providing low-cost, efficient development and integration technologies that are a large improvement over current approaches. The second is a dosimeter developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, in partnership with COSMAIC, and the third is a 3D circuit board developed by the team at the University of Texas at El Paso. The project will be built and operated by students from UNM.

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