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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics


The INSPIRE program provides hands-­on experiences for students to design, build, and operate satellites that return data with important scientific and societal impacts. (Courtesy LASP)

INSPIRE aims to provide a constellation of Earth & space weather observing satellites and develop a university microsatellite  platform  to  address  some  of  the  outstanding  questions  in  quantifying  climate  change,  atmospheric coupling processes, and space weather effects. INSPIRE offers participating universities and industry partners the opportunity for cutting-edge research in the earth sciences and developing spacecraft technologies.

INSPIRESats 1,2,3, and 4 carry a variety of payloads for ionospheric measurements (1 & 2), an ultraviolet imager (3) and an infrared imager (4) conducting Earth and solar observations. The spacecraft for all of these instruments is the INSPIRE spacecraft bus. All four missions use the same architecture for an onboard computer, power modules, flight software, etc., which have all been developed as part of the INSPIRE program. The INSPIRE spacecraft bus is a custom-­sized microsatellite that is deployed via a ring deployer from the ISRO PSLV launch vehicle, unlike other CubeSats.

The INSPIRE spacecraft bus is hence a very capable small satellite platform that is developed in the open domain for fundamental space science research. The INSPIRE spacecraft bus will provide a template to enable emerging and developing nations to start space science research.