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Artists view of SOMP in orbit

The Student Oxygen Measurement Project (SOMP) is a cubesat developed by students of the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, organized in the Students’ Research Group for Spacecraft Engineering in Dresden (STARD). SOMP will be a standard sized single CubeSat (10X10X10 cm) with one payload side and five sides with two solar cells each. The antenna concept foresees a 4 monopole concept. The CubeSat will be able to determine and to a limited extent, also control the attitude.

SOMP is an educational satellite project. Designing and developing SOMP will allow the students to practically apply their knowledge and gaining unique hands-on experience in many aspects of a space project. The mission objectives are:

1. Prototype development of a satellite bus

2. Verification of the satellite

3. Launch of the satellite SOMP

4. Establishment of first contact with SOMP

5. Operation of the satellite to fulfill scientific mission objectives

SOMP has two scientific objectives: the first objective is to measure the concentration of atomic oxygen in the upper atmosphere using an oxygen electrolyte sensor. The second is the testing of flexible thin film solar cells (TFSC), that have never been tested in space before. More information about the payloads can be found on the internet page of the Institute of Aerospace Engineering of the TU Dresden.

The satellite was developed by students in the years between 2008 – 2012 at the TU Dresden. The project is funded by various companies who sponsored materials such as solar cells and PCBs. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has also partly funded the project from 2008 (50RU0802). The project management is done by the Department of Space Systems and Utilization and is supported by the Department of High Frequency Technology and the “Universitätszentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt” or UZLR. The ground station and operations is conducted jointly from the ILR and the “Berufliches Schulzentrum für Elektrotechnik” (BSZET) and the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC e.V.)

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