TU Sat 1, Innovating Global Communications
Taylor's first-built satellite, back in 2001, TU Sat 1 was a 10x10x20 cm CubeSat intended to meet objectives in both the fields of missions and science. At the time, missionaries in remote parts of the world lacked access to rapid forms of communication, such as email. Taylor faculty, including Dr. Hank D. Voss (a TU professor with rocket experience at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and elsewhere), saw an opportunity to meet this need via small satellites which could transmit data back and forth across all areas of the world much faster than was previously possible. TU Sat 1 was their plan to prove the efficacy of such a system. To satisfy a wider range of interests, the satellite carried scientific equipment such as a Langmuir plasma probe to measure the density and temperature of the ionospheric plasma around it.
TU Sat 1 was scheduled for launch on May 1st, 2002 via the Dnepr, a decommissioned Ukranian Kosmotras ICBM, as part of the first CubeSat mission. Though the satellites built by Taylor and the other teams were launch-ready, complications with the rocket led to the mission's cancellation, and TU Sat 1 never flew. Nonetheless, the students who worked on the satellite gained invaluable experience to carry forward with them and build upon in the field.
Faculty mentors: Stefan Brandle, Jeff Dailey, Will Holmes, Hank Voss