PROPCUBE-Fauna (PROPCUBE-Fauna) - 11.21.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
PROPCUBE-Fauna uses a CubeSat platform to collect critical data for improving communication systems. Both Earth- and space-based communications systems uses the outer electrical field of the Earth’s atmosphere to transmit, bend or bounce message signals. PROPCUBE-Fauna performs high-resolution measurements on the exact position, density and potential vibration of this field to transmit signals in a more effective manner.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Paul Bernhardt, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Paul Bernhardt, Ph.D., Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, United States

Information Pending

Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc., Irvine, CA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2017 - February 2018

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The measurements made by PROPCUBE-Fauna help reduce errors and delays in radio signals passing through the ionosphere.
  • The ionosphere is one of the main sources of error for radio signals passing through.
  • PROPCUBE-Fauna demonstrates dual-frequency ionospheric sounding calibration measurements to help reduce errors and delays introduced into radio signals passing through the ionosphere.

PROPCUBE-Fauna performs dual-frequency ionospheric calibration measurements of ionospheric electron density and irregularities. It measures the total electron content by differential group delay of plasma irregularities upon amplitude and phase scintillations (flashes of light), and detects artificial ionization and irregularities generated by High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), Arecibo, and Sura high frequency facilities.

^ back to top


Space Applications
PROPCUBE-Fauna benefits space exploration by providing a more detailed understanding of the medium through which space to ground communications occur. Better constraints on the physical parameters of this medium can inform the design of next generation downlinking systems and other satellite technologies.

Earth Applications
PROPCUBE-Fauna helps reduce errors and delays in radio signals passing through the ionosphere, an area prone to errors for radio signals. Earth-based remote sensing and communications applications that use satellites benefit from these advances.

^ back to top


Operational Requirements and Protocols

NanoRacks CubeSats are delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) already integrated within a NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) or NanoRacks DoubleWide Deployer (NRDD). A crew member transfers each NRCSD/NRDD from the launch vehicle to the JEM. Visual inspection for damage to each NRCSD is performed. When CubeSat deployment operations begin, the NRCSD/NRDDs are unpacked, mounted on the JAXA Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) and placed on the JEM airlock slide table for transfer outside the ISS. A crew member operates the JEM Remote Manipulating System (JRMS) – to grapple and position for deployment. CubeSats are deployed when JAXA ground controllers command a specific NRCSD.
CubeSat operations involve periodically scheduling payload operations and assessing bus state of health.

^ back to top

Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

^ back to top

Results/More Information

Information Pending

^ back to top

Related Websites

^ back to top