Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN)
The Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN) mission will launch a loose formation of eight cubesats into orbit approximately 500 km above Earth. The EDSN project is developing the technology to send multiple, advanced, yet affordable nanosatellites into space with cross-link communications to enable a wide array of scientific, commercial, and academic research. Another goal of the project is to lower the cost and shorten the development time for future small spacecraft.
The EDSN project is led by the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California and is funded by the NASA Small Spacecraft Technology Program. Other EDSN project partners include NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Montana State University,which is providing the science instrument, and Santa Clara University, which is providing the primary ground station. The 2-year EDSN project began in 2012.
Each EDSN nanosatellite is a 1.5 unit cubesat with dimensions of about 10 by 10 by 16 centimeters and a mass of about 2 kilograms. Each satellite carries a sensor built by Montana State University (procured through a competitive solicitation) to make distributed, multipoint space radiation measurements. A second technology payload is smartphone that will demonstrate the ability to run an open-source application in the space environment. The EDSN swarm is expected to have a 60-day operational period in orbit. The EDSN spacecraft will be launched as secondary payloads on the Super-Strypi vehicle from Kauai, Hawaii in late 2013.
EDSN will demonstrate advanced communications, including a network that allows for data to be sent between satellites as needed. This technology has the potential to provide extremely flexible data correlation and distribution, simplify spacecraft and mission operations, and accelerate data downlinks so that a satellite network could be rapidly reconfigured.
The launch of tens (or someday hundreds) of network-based satellites would enable an unprecedented amount of communications and computing capability in low Earth orbit from which the satellite industry, university researchers, and NASA scientists could benefit.
For more information, contact:
EDSN Project Manager
NASA Ames Research Center