On the verge of an astronomy CubeSat revolution

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

CubeSats are small satellites built in standard sizes and form factors, which have been growing in popularity but have thus far been largely ignored within the field of astronomy. When deployed as space-based telescopes, they enable science experiments not possible with existing or planned large space missions, filling several key gaps in astronomical research. Unlike expensive and highly sought after space telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope, whose time must be shared among many instruments and science programs, CubeSats can monitor sources for weeks or months at time, and at wavelengths not accessible from the ground such as the ultraviolet, far-infrared and low-frequency radio. Science cases for CubeSats being developed now include a wide variety of astrophysical experiments, including exoplanets, stars, black holes and radio transients. Achieving high-impact astronomical research with CubeSats is becoming increasingly feasible with advances in technologies such as precision pointing, compact sensitive detectors and the miniaturization of propulsion systems. CubeSats may also pair with the large space- and ground-based telescopes to provide complementary data to better explain the physical processes observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalNature Astronomy
Volume2
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

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astronomy
telescopes
miniaturization
space missions
extrasolar planets
propulsion
Hubble Space Telescope
form factors
monitors
astrophysics
low frequencies
stars
detectors
wavelengths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

On the verge of an astronomy CubeSat revolution. / Shkolnik, Evgenya.

In: Nature Astronomy, Vol. 2, No. 5, 01.05.2018, p. 374-378.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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