The Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE) is an NSF-funded 3U CubeSat (30×10×10 cm) which houses an energetic particle telescope.
Its primary objective is to measure the directional differential flux of Solar Energetic Protons (SEPs) and Earth’s radiation belt electrons.
CSSWE underwent a 22 day commissioning phase before taking 155 days of science data. The CubeSat was thought to be inoperative when contact could not be reestablished after March 7th, 2013. However, after 103 days of communication blackout, the CubeSat came back to life in a designed ‘Phoenix Mode’ on June 18th, 2013. Despite the hiatus, the CubeSat was healthy enough to return to science mode (no beacons), which it did on June 27th, 2013. With the ‘Phoenix phase’ of operations now well underway, CSSWE is continuing to extend the mission well beyond four times the expected lifetime. As of May 7th, 2014, CSSWE is currently cycling between SCIENCE mode (no beacons) and SAFE mode (beacons), so listening HAM operators have a good chance of hearing beacons.