Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Dr. Thomas Zurburchen involved in growing CubeSats program

Posted: July 6, 2016

Dr. Thomas Zurburchen involved in growing CubeSats program

CubeSats are set to become the next wave of deep-space explorers. The diminutive 10-centimeter spacecraft already orbit our planet in the hundreds and perform a variety of tasks from Earth observation to studying bacterial proteins in space.

As Climate & Space professor Thomas Zurburchen says, "Our recently published study by the National Academies concludes that CubeSats are becoming a powerful tool to perform science." 

As the satellite technology improves, scientists are able to overcome the previous propulsion and deep-space communications limitations inherent to the CubeSats' small size, and more than a dozen far-ranging satellites are awaiting a ride into space to begin their missions. 

Zurburchen also discussed the more local application of CubeSats, including their role in "space weather research, where the University of Michigan is a leader, as well as Earth observations, such as the upcoming CYGNSS mission with UM Climate & Space Principal Investigator, Chris Ruf. The College of Engineering Climate & Space department is performing research at the interface of engineering and science, and the potential for opprtunities in scientific discovery is enormous. As Dr. Zurburchen says, "much of it has yet to be imagined.”

Read the full Nature article here:

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