Scientists have identified various causes of coral bleaching including ocean temperature, carbonic acid concentrations, oceanic and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and catastrophic physical and weather related events. Even though there is extensive research into the effects of each of these, scientists still haven’t conducted one study to analyze all of these actions consistently over an extended period of time. The purpose of the ReefSat mission is to take high resolution images of corals along the Great Barrier Reef over the course of three to four years, track the rate of coral bleaching progression from these images, then compare that to data collected from each of the above known bleaching causes. In the interest of developing new CubeSat missions, ReefSat's design progression is currently on hold.
ReefSat will be a 3U imaging CubeSat in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). It will utilize an active ADAC system to detumble and point the spacecraft at the Great Barrier Reef during imaging phases. An on-board UHF radio in the 70 cm band will beacon the health of the spacecraft, and an S-band radio will send science data to a ground station located in Cincinnati.
Due to the scientific complexity and large cost of this mission, the ReefSat team is in the process of forming partnerships with several organizations. These partnerships will be announced once they are formalized.
- Himadri Pandey - CubeSat Program Manager, On-board Computing
- Ben Silcox - Project Manager
- Derek Schulte - Systems Engineering Lead
- Rohan Sharma - ADCS Lead
- Abhishek Soni - Power Systems Lead
- Adam Herrmann - On-Board Communications Lead
- Reeve Lambert - Ground Communications Lead
- Grace Gamstetter - Flight Software Lead
- Rob Imhoff - Structures Lead
- Jacob Woeste - Deployable Systems Lead