HARP Satellite

Name HARP (HyperAngular Rainbow Polarimeter)
Form factor CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Status Reentry 2022-04-04. Was operational (Official news on 2020-05-12)
Launched 2019-11-02
NORAD ID 45256
Deployer NRCSD (NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer) [Quad-M]
Launcher Antares (ELaNa 25) (NG-12)
Deployment Deployed from ISS on 2020-02-19
Entity name University of Maryland
Institution University
Entity Academic / Education
Headquarters US
Launch brokerer Nanoracks
Partners Utah State University, Science and Technology Corporation, NASA Earth Science Technology Office

Measure the microphysical properties of cloud water and ice particles and validate new polarimeter instrument.


Mission is to measure the microphysical properties of cloud water and ice particles. HARP is a precursor for the new generation of imaging polarimeters to be used for the detailed measurements of aerosol and cloud properties.

Space validation of new technology required by the NASA Decadal Survey Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) mission. Prove the on-flight capabilities of a highly accurate wide FOV hyper-angle imaging polarimeter for characterizing aerosol & cloud properties.

Prove that CubeSat technology can provide science-quality Earth Sciences data. The HARP payload is a wide FOV imager that splits 3 spatially identical images into 3 independent polarizers and detector arrays.


The Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter (HARP) CubeSat achieved “first light” on April 16. The tiny satellite sent back its very first image over Europe with bright splashes of colors defining clouds and aerosols, which are tiny particles in the atmosphere. HARP’s measurements help us better understand how clouds and aerosols impact weather, climate and air quality.

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4]
Photo sources [1] [2]
COTS subsystems
  • SOLAR PANELS - Clyde Space
Space photos HARP


On the same launch

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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