Mola Satellite

Spacecraft Mola
Form factor CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Status Operational (News from 2024-03-27 and object identified as of 2024-05-26)
Launched 2024-03-21
NORAD ID 59289 
Deployer ?
Launcher Electron
Organization Naval Postgraduate School (NPS)
Institution University
Entity Academic / Education
Headquarters US

A terahertz imaging camera (TIC) and an LED on-orbit payload (LOOP).


Two payload experiments built by NPS – a terahertz imaging camera (TIC) and an LED on-orbit payload (LOOP) – and a radio transmitter built by New Zealand’s Defense Science and Technology unit.

The LOOP, built by Ph.D. candidate U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Dillon Pierce, is the first step towards an optical tracking and communications capability. The long-term effort seeks to advance NPS research into free-space optical communications for CubeSats and small satellites, using highly directional optical lasers to increase speed and security of low-earth orbit (LEO) communications while avoiding congested radio frequencies. The initial experiment with LOOP is to visually observe the ultra-bright LEDs on the satellite. Plans are to eventually track LOOP with a 70-centimeter optical terminal telescope based atop the roof of NPS’ Spanagel Hall.

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Photo sources [1] [2]
Keywords License Plate Identification Tag
On the same launch

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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Created by Erik Kulu


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