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TwinSat AFRL Nanosat-6 Project
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TwinSat Home > Mission Overview

Project Overview

The mission for Nanosat-5 is to design, construct and validate a GPS bistatic radar for remote sensing applications onboard small satellites in low Earth orbit.

The mission can be accomplished by using Goldeneye to collect GPS signals that are reflected off of the Earth’s surfaces, such as land, ocean or ice.  Goldeneye is considered a remote sensing device because the reflected GPS signals it collects provide a lot of information.  For example, ocean conditions such as wave height and wind speed affect the properties of the GPS signals that are reflected from the ocean’s surface.  After Goldeneye collects the reflected GPS signals, the signals will be processed to determine the oceans surface conditions where the reflected GPS signals originated.

Other instruments such as buoys and scatterometers can also provide information about surface conditions on the ocean.  However, using GPS to gather the same kind of information is based on existing technology that is already extensively used on satellites for positioning and navigation.  Many satellites can therefore be easily equipped to have Goldeneye’s remote sensing capabilities. 

There are many benefits of providing more satellites with the opportunity to have remote sensing capabilities.  Knowledge about the surface conditions of the Earth’s landmasses, ice and ocean help us better understand global climate change.  More specific benefits can be acquired from the following information:

-Soil moisture content: useful for agricultural planning and urban planning
-Ocean conditions: useful for transportation safety and military operations     

 
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