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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

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.

As of December 22nd, 2014, the capacity of CSSWE’s batteries have degraded extensively; as a result CSSWE cannot be powered by them.  It is not clear if CSSWE can be powered exclusively by the solar cells.  Currently, CSSWE does not have enough power capacity to receive or transmit data.  Although the flight mission may be at an end, data analysis and modeling continue on a dataset that consists of 3.5 million points covering ~2 years.  The data is available through NASA’s CDAWeb archive by checking the “CubeSats” box.

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