In preparation for the CUTE cubesat launch on September 16, 2021, I’d like to get the CUTE beacon packet contents published prior to launch.
University of Colorado
CUTE is a 6U CubeSat whose bus and primary subsystems (including the attitude control system, GPS receiver, communication systems, electrical power system, and solar array) are provided by Blue Canyon Technologies.
CUTE will have a 1-year mission life time and will launch in 2020 and use near-ultraviolet (NUV) transmission spectroscopy from 255 to 330 nanometers (nm) to characterize the composition and mass-loss rates of exoplanet atmospheres. CUTE measures how the NUV light from the host star is changed as the exoplanet transits in front of the star and passes through the planet’s atmospheres. CUTE’s spectrally resolved lightcurve will provide constraints on the composition and escape rates of these atmospheres, and may provide the first concrete evidence for magnetic fields on extrasolar planets.
The keys to unlocking the diagnostic potential of these systems are spectral coverage in the appropriate bandpass and the ability to follow the systems for several orbital periods. CUTE is designed to provide exactly that – low resolution spectroscopy of critical atmospheric tracers (Fe II, Mg II, Mg I, OH) that are inaccessible from the ground, and a dedicated mission architecture that enables the survey required to characterize atmospheric structure and variability on these worlds.
CUTE was constructed at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).