CHIPS Satellite

Satellite name CHIPS (Cubesat with HIgh Performance for Skyhopper)
Type CubeSat
Units or mass 12U
Status not launched, expected in 2026
Launcher not launched
Entity name Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF)
Institution Institute
Entity Government (Civil / Military)
Nation Italy
Manufacturer AIVT by ?
Operator ?
Partners Politecnico di Milano

Infrared telescope with the focal plane chamber actively cooled for observational astronomy missions.


Has the following scientific goals: identify the Gamma Ray Bursts that originate in the early Universe, identify infrared counterparts of gravitational wave sources, discover potentially habitable Earth-like planets around nearby cold stars, study the Near-Earth Asteroid family.

The payload consists of an infrared telescope with the focal plane chamber actively cooled. To achieve these results CHIPS will have to implement various technological innovations for a CubeSat: Provide stable pointing with rapid re-targeting capability, within 120s of a trigger, have the satellite's attitude controlled by mini star trackers and reaction wheels capable of rotating the satellite at a speed of 3 deg s-1 and maintaining a pointing accuracy better than 5 arc seconds, implement continuous communication capability, via an IRIDIUM modem, while an S-band radio antenna will provide data transfer.

In addition, an in-orbit technology demonstration is planned to demonstrate autonomous navigation capability. The platform is also suitable for accurate observations of the Earth, as well as of the sky, for example to observe the trend of glaciers, for the surveillance of forest fires or for applications in precision agriculture.

Sources [1]
Photo sources [1]
Keywords Globalstar or Iridium or Inmarsat

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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