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SOF Warfighter Internet Cubesat with Propulsion
short description
6U Cubesat with internet connection and propulsion for advanced communications including full orbit C2 and data exfiltration.


Introduce yourself or your team
I am a computer engineer with data communications background on CISCO routing concepts.
What makes you an ideal candidate for this Challenge?
I have some engineering and scientific background and knowledge on data communication involving CISCO routers.


Describe your solution.
My solution is to make use of radio signals to carry IP communications protocols to provide internet to the SOF warfighter for use in austere locations on the planet. The 6u form factor will have a communications payload consisting of radio frequency modem and an IP (internet protocol) space certified router. Data is carried by RF frequencies to and from the ground at optimal data rates as possible. Ideally, the cube-sat will be inserted to an optimal low earth orbit (LEO) that would position it to transmit and receive the strongest RF signals using a carbon dioxide propulsion system . The cube-sat also has propulsion capability using cold-gas Carbon Dioxide and have the option to collect in-situ trace amounts of hydrogen gas at very low earth orbit (LEO at 160 km above sea level, at thermosphere) and combine it with CO2 (sabatier process) using nickel or alumina as catalyst, to form methane and water. Methane will then be used if produced and can then possibly propel the cube-sat to adjust its orbital pattern using LOX (liquid oxygen, which we could also bring with us from earth, as oxidizer). By default, we still have the cold-gas carbon dioxide for propulsion, if the in-situ methane production fails.
What is the size of your proposed solution?
The proposal will use a 6U cubesat form factor.
Does your solution help Special Operations Forces missions? How?
My solution will help the SOF missions in the area of advanced data communications and full in-orbit command and control and data exfiltration behind enemy lines. It basically uses radio signals to provide internet connection to the warfighter by using radio frequency modems and routers. The router is the device that provides the internet connection to be used by the on-board computer and operating system which manages online programs related to the mission like real-time video conversation with command from remote locations on the planet, uploading files gathered like pictures, movies or documents from the field operations in real-time and other data communications protocols like e-mail or text-messaging, needed to fulfill the SOF missions in austere locations. We are basically providing the SOF warfighter a space based internet server to enable world wide web (WWW) based applications like e-mail, text messaging and video conferencing using modulated radio frequencies on austere locations on the planet where there is no internet service for miles (e.g. desserts and jungles, in some urban and disaster areas, and even on the middle of the ocean).
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for power.
Assume the existing 1.5U CubeSat bus can provide at least 4 watts continuous power.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for thermal control.
Thermal management system is accomplished by using thermal shielding like Kapton sheet and spinning the cubesat on one axis to distribute sun exposure evenly.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for data transfer rate.
Platform accommodation requirement for data transfer volume (per orbit) is at least 10 MB of data per orbit to be transferred to the ground if operating in a store-and-forward mode.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for data transfer volume (per orbit).
Platform accommodation requirement for data transfer rate less than 64 kbits/ sec. of data to be transferred to the ground if operating in a real-time data transfer mode.
Where known, identify platform accommodation requirements for bus stability and attitude control.
The proposed concept can use standard satellite bus platform for bus stability and attitude control for cube-sat orientation in space is accomplished using either a reaction wheel package (COTS) or using the cold-gas carbon dioxide micro-thrusters, which we fill-up on earth (if allowed) or on the space station (if that is possible, for safety reasons). The cube-sat will insert itself to an ideal orbit after it has been ejected from the P-POD and also using its micro-thrusters or reaction wheel or similar technologies for fine adjustment of its attitude or introduce a nice spin for thermal control and optimal solar power collection
Can you identify any additional platform accommodation requirements for your solution?
Accommodation for propulsion tanks because I propose to use cold-gas propellant like Carbon Dioxide to have the ability to change orbital level to the lowest possible LEO (Low Earth Orbit). On this very low orbit, trace amounts of hydrogen gas do exists which could the be collected and combined with carbon dioxide to form methane gas and water. Methane can be used as rocket propellant. I assume that the orbital level that the cube-sat will be released will depend on the main payload satellite orbital requirements that means it will not necessarily be put on an ideal orbit so a need for propulsion exists. I choose to place the cube-sat in a much lower LEO orbit as possible in order to transmit or receive a much greater signal as much as possible and also it will then be in a position to gather some drag and eventually reenter the atmosphere in 1 to 3 years time depending on the program management.
Can your concept can be implemented with current state-of-the-art flight-qualified components, or will it require additional development? Please describe.
Yes my concept proposal can be implemented with current state-of-the-art-qualified components or by use of COTS (commercially available off-the-shelf) parts. Additional development will be in the possibility of using in-situ resource like hydrogen gas which still exist on such low earth orbit (e.g. about 160 km. above sea level, at the thermosphere). I propose to have the ability to collect these trace gasses at this orbital level, storing them on previously evacuated (vacuum) pressure tank and combine them with the carbon dioxide that we already have to form methane and water. The methane mixed with oxygen will burn on small rocket engines to maintain orbits or for reentry. This system using in-situ hydrogen means that we only have to carry carbon dioxide gas on the cube-sat which greatly lower the risk of having any explosion incidents that may occur with volatile propellants on board a rocket launcher. #PrayforMarawi
Intellectual Property: Do you acknowledge that this is only the Concept Phase of the competition, and all ideas are to remain the property and ownership of USSOCOM for future discretionary use, licensing, or inclusion in future challenges?
Supporting PDF upload
Cubesat Internet Router with Propulsion System@FINAL ver..pdf

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