INCA (Ionospheric Neutron Content Analyzer)

Name INCA (Ionospheric Neutron Content Analyzer)
Type CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Mass in kg 3.83 kg
Status Launch failure
Launched 2022-02-10
NORAD ID Launch failure
Deployer ?
Launcher Astra Rocket (ELaNa 41)
Organization New Mexico State University
Institution University
Entity Academic / Education
Headquarters US
Launch brokerer NASA CSLI / ELaNa
Partners University of New Hampshire, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Study the latitude and time dependencies of the neutron spectrum to improve space weather models.


Study the latitude and time dependencies of the neutron spectrum in low-Earth orbit for the first time to improve current space weather models and mitigate threats to space and airborne assets. The data acquired from the INCA mission will help to expand space weather models and contribute to further understanding of the radiation belts.

Carrying a scintillator - silicon photomultiplier-based neutron detector. focus on albedo neutrons; however, the instrumentation will also be sensitive to solar neutrons. Albedo neutrons, produced via interaction of high-energy cosmic rays and solar particles with molecules in the upper atmosphere, represent a hazard for spacecraft as they can pass through most shielding, and can cause single event effects (SEE’s) in electronics. Since neutron flux is believed to be dependent on latitude and solar activity, the use of current models presents a risk for spacecraft in LEO.

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4]
Photo sources [1] [2] [3] [4]
Keywords Globalstar or Iridium or Inmarsat

Last modified: 2023-11-04

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