The Hazardous Algal Blooms (HAB) in western Lake Erie have plagued the fishing industry and endangered the safe drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. Currently the only reliable way to monitor the amount and location of hazardous algae is by using a hyper-spectral imager from a low flying aircraft. This method can take over a day to image all critical areas, and is extremely costly. There are some satellites in orbit that can image Lake Erie, however their obits, and complex scientific schedules only allow an image to be taken of Lake Erie roughly every sixteen days. Thus the purpose of HABSat1 (Hazardous Algal Bloom Satellite One) is to study the movement and development of toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie on a nearly daily basis.
HABSat-1 will be a 3U (10 x 10 x 30 cm) imaging CubeSat in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) that will utilize an active attitude determination and control (ADCS) system. An on-board UHF radio will beacon the health of the spacecraft, while an S-band antenna will down-link hyper-spectral images. Both of which will be received by the ground station at the University of Cincinnati. The satellite will also incorporate thermal management systems, and a rigorous power system to provide constant power to the camera, communications system, and ADCS system.