CubeSat presentation at Fermilab
The ENG491/ Laboratory for Advanced Space Systems team from the University of Illinois traveled this past week to Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois to provide preliminary design concepts for their DarkNESS dark matter CubeSat experiment. DarkNESS will expose an x-ray sensor to the galactic center and locations 90 degrees off-axis to look for dark matter signatures in the received x-rays.
The team met with astrophysicist and project lead Stephanie Timpone and project scientist Claudio Chavez. Timpone provided a tour of the Fermilab facilities, including the bubble chamber, which was originally used to capture elementary particle tracks in the Tevatron.
The team members individually presented their results including: Dave Stier, attitude control; Nick Kopriva, systems; Rachel Di Bartolomeo, orbit mechanics; Jenna Commisso, structures; Murphy Stratton, lab manager; Steve Harris, structures and layout; Calvin Field, board design; Rick Eason, communications; Stephanie Timpone, Fermilab; Logan Power, avionics; Michael Lembeck, lab director; Michael Harrigan, power; Dillon Hammond, software; and Avinash Rao, thermal. Significantly supporting the presentations were Samantha Paige, Emily Williams, and Adam Newhouse.
“Thanks to all involved, a very professional presentation was offered to Fermi,” said Michael Lembeck, associate professor of practice in the AE Dept. and Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Space Systems at Illinois. “Our team offered a depth of understanding of the challenging operational issues and constraints that will drive a successful design for this experiment. We showed the start of modeling and analysis required to satisfy experiment objectives. Questions answered by the Fermilab science team will allow us to complete that analysis for another technical exchange toward the end of April.”
Fermilab is funded internally to assess the feasibility of the project. This summer, Fermilab and U of I’s LASSI team will jointly develop funding proposals for a two-year program to begin development of the spacecraft and sensor package. Fermilab is sponsoring summer internships for two members of the team. They will continue to jointly mature the mission concept with the science team.