A University of Georgia project led by a team of undergraduate students and including faculty from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering was recently selected for funding by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative.
The UGA proposal, "CubeSat for GA Water Resources," to NASA's Undergraduate Student Instrument Project will receive $200,000 in funding to prepare for a launch date 18 months from the project start date this month.
The spectrographic observatory of coastal regions, or SPOC satellite playfully known as DAWGSat, will be designed to perform the first moderate resolution multispectral analysis of vegetation health, ocean productivity, near-coastal sediment, organic matter and production of shelf waters and salt marshes from low Earth orbit, in this case an altitude of 400 kilometers.
A second CubeSat project also won $200,000 in funding—one of 10 selected by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory—to build the mapping and ocean color imager, or MOCI, to perform a photogrammetric analysis, known as "structure-from-motion," in low Earth orbit to generate 3-D point clouds of broad scale structures on the Earth's surface.
The UGA proposal to NASA was one of 43 selected for funding by its Office of Education and the Science Mission Directorate. The student-faculty collaboration will support the Small Satellite Research Laboratory to build both cube satellites.