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The Time is Now! West Virginia in Space!

The Simulation-to-Flight 1 (STF-1) mission will demonstrate the utility of the NASA Operational Simulator (NOS) technologies across the CubeSat development cycle, from concept planning to mission operations. The NOS, developed by NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V) Program’s Independent Test Capability (ITC) team, demonstrates the paradigm shift in the resources required for embedded software development. The STF-1 mission will demonstrate a highly portable simulation and test platform that allows seamless transition of mission development artifacts to flight products. This environment will be highly portable and will decrease the development time of future CubeSat missions by lessening the dependency on hardware resources. The STF-1 mission was also developed to advance engineering and physical-science research currently being developed at West Virginia University.

The STF-1 mission has three science goals:

  1. To advance CubeSat navigation systems. This will be accomplished by demonstrating a new concept for inertial sensing that promises to enable a new class of inertial navigation performance, by combining the output of many low-cost microelectromechanical system Inertial Measurement Units (IMU), to approximate the performance of a higher quality IMU.
  2. To measure dynamic properties of the ionospheric plasma system and verify the ionospheric coupling to the solar and magnetospheric drivers. The Earth’s ionosphere is the natural plasma system nearest Earth and has a large number of effects on telecommunications, navigation, defense and other systems.
  3. To assess the performance and durability of III-V Nitride-based materials by developing a sensor platform with minimal shielding that improves and extends the sensing capability in the space environment. III-V Nitride materials are known for their wide direct bandgaps and ability to form various alloys. These materials, when synthesized along with apt combination of alloys, are suitable semiconductors for a variety of applications in optoelectronics.

STF-1 will be the first CubeSat from the state of West Virginia. As a result, the STF-1 mission is motivated to inspire future generations in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics throughout the state. This will be accomplished through partnerships with the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and West Virginia University.

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