University of Southern California



Mission Description

USC’s current satellite program is Aeneas, which modifies a 3U (30x10x10cm) National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)-specified Colony I Cubesat bus to address a research thrust of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The delivery of Aeneas is scheduled for January of 2011 and the flight is manifested for June of 2012. It contains two payloads.

The primary payload speaks to a mission with global reach: tracking cargo containers over the open ocean with a 1-watt WiFi-like transceiver. A current tracking system for cargo containers, designed by our primary payload provider iControl Inc., is capable of identifying the container within a mile from shore, but loses all contact for the majority of the open-water journey. For both government and non-government entities, the ability to track containers in transit is highly valued. This mission uses a custom-built deployable mesh antenna, and stretches the attitude control and power generation capabilities of the Colony I bus to its limits.

Video Simulation of the Primary Mission