Page 18: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2019)

Oceanographic Instrumentation: Measurement, Process & Analysis

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Insignts SatCom

USCG goes galactic

Coast Guard satellites aim to give navigating Arctic a greater margin of safety

By Maura Casey he U.S. Coast Guard’s mission of keeping the seas using the cubesats, which are less expensive than other forms safe will soon get an additional boost from space of technology, for these and other missions. with two polar satellites. The two satellites, called The service will also gain two ground stations to monitor “cube satellites” or “cubesats” for their small size and control the satellites as they orbit the planet over the poles

Tof about 60 square centimeters, or a little under every 100 minutes or so. One ground station has already been 2 feet, will be part of a payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket completed in Fairbanks, Alaska. Another is planned for con- scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Cali- struction before the end of the year atop Smith Hall at the U.S. fornia Nov. 28. Although the Coast Guard has used satellite Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. technology for years, these two are the ? rst to be entirely dedi- The increasing sophistication of technology, along with the cated to a Coast Guard mission. ever-shrinking size of electronics, has made it possible for

The initiative is part of the U.S. Homeland Security’s Polar cubesats to do the job that once was performed by much larger

Scout program, which aims to increase technical resources in and much more expensive satellites, said U.S. Coast Guard the Arctic to detect emergency position indicating radio bea- LCRD Grant Wyman. He is the project manager for the ini- cons, or EPIRBs, sent from mariners in distress in that region. tiative at the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development

The project will also be a test to explore the effectiveness of Center in New London, Conn.

Images Courtesy: Cal Poly Cubesat Lab and JPL

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