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Payload 06 Information

Payload Flight Number:

2019 - 06

Arizona State University
Payload Title:

AWSOME (Atmospheric Water vapor Sounding sensor Operating on Millimeter-wave Equipment)

Student Leader:
  • Alexa Drew
  • School of Earth and Space Exploration
  • 6707 E Cheery Lynn Rd Unit D
  • Scottsdale,AZ 85281
Faculty Advisor:
  • Dr. Christopher Groppi
  • School of Earth and Space Exploration
  • PO Box 876004
  • Tempe, AZ 85287
Payload class:
Payload ID Number:
Serial Commands:
Discrete Commands:
Payload Specification & Integration Plan
Payload Integration Certification
Flight Operation Plan
Final Flight / Science Report
Earth’s precipitable water vapor (PWV) has become critical in being able to understand processes like weather and climate to which PWV, a strong greenhouse gas, significantly impacts. Weather satellites have been designed to do this, but instrumentation limitations only allow them to take measurements for some area once per day or less. Thus, ASU engineers have designed a novel radiometer, named the CubeSounder, that would use remote sensing at millimeter-wave frequencies to take multiple spectral measurements a day for some location and give a detailed three-dimensional profile of PWV in return. Eight undergraduate students at ASU have been given the opportunity to build and launch a payload built around this radiometer with two primary science goals in mind. The first is to determine the relationship between PWV and surface temperatures in arid or semi-arid locations so that a deeper understanding of the processes that affect such an environment may be better understood. The second is to take measurements of PWV and then compare them to data taken by ground stations, weather satellites, and other pertinent sources. This will help provide justification for the CubeSounder’s efficacy and accuracy for a CubeSat on NASA’s SWARMS mission. Besides the radiometer, team AWSOME’s payload will have a camera for visual confirmation, a gyroscope for orientation, temperature sensors to monitor heat, a calibration system to standardize all data, and a computer to store said data.
Payload Integration Plan:

Monthly Briefings: