Taking the University of Michigan into space for longer than ever before
M-BARC (Michigan Bicentennial Archive)
Michigan Bicentennial Archive is a project to launch a time capsule satellite and recover it after 100 years in honor of the University of Michigan's bicentennial (1817-2017). The time capsule will contain a DNA radiation experiment along with art and UM historical data. This capsule will be a 3U CubeSat.
My team worked on a 2U test CubeSat, DSM-BARC (Demonstration of Systems for M-BARC), to verify the retroreflectors that will be used to track the time capsule satellite. This project was part of our spacecraft technology class for graduate students. The launch opportunity is provided by ULA, with a projected launch in December 2017 or early 2018. I worked on simulating the orbit for various conditions, such as changing initial orbital elements and satellite orientations. I also investigated the possible generated solar power for the satellite geometry and solar panel placements. These simulations were done using STK and an in-house orbit propagator, SpOCK (Spacecraft Orbital Characterization Kit), that was created by Charles Bussy-Virat and Joel Getchma, initially for use with the NASA CYGNSS mission. I also assisted the interview team with conducting interviews of the Michigan community to be included on the time capsule.
The expected spacecraft delivery is in September and launch is expected in December or early 2018.