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28 October 1996 Student Nitric Oxide Explorer
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The Student Nitric Oxide Explorer (SNOE) is a small scientific spacecraft designed to launch on a PegasusTM XL vehicle for the Student Explorer Demonstration Initiative. Its scientific goals are to measure nitric oxide density in the lower thermosphere and to analyze the solar and magnetospheric influences that create it and cause its abundance to vary dramatically. The SNOE ('snowy') spacecraft and instrumentation is being designed and built at the University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) by a team of scientists, engineers, and students. The spacecraft is a compact hexagonal structure, 37' by 39', weighing approximately 280 lbs. It will be launched into a circular orbit, 550 km altitude, 97.5 degrees inclination for sun-synchronous precession at 10:30 AM ascending node. It is designed to spin at 5 rpm with the spin axis normal to the orbit plane. It carries three instruments: an ultraviolet spectrometer to measure nitric oxide altitude profiles on the limb, a two-channel ultraviolet photometer to measure auroral emissions in the nadir, and a five-channel solar soft x-ray photometer. An experimental GPS receiver is also included. The spacecraft structure is aluminum, with a center platform section for the instruments and subsystems. Static solar arrays are supported by a truss system. A spacecraft microprocessor handles all subsystem, instrument, and communications functions in an integrated fashion, including command decoding, attitude control, instrument commanding, data storage, and telemetry. The spacecraft is scheduled for launch in early 1997 and will be operated by students at LASP. For more information on the SNOE project, please visit
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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