Taylor Satellite (TSAT)

May 16, 2019

Taylor to the skies

TSAT launching from Cape Canaveral (Photo courtesy of NASA.)

TSAT launching from Cape Canaveral
(Photo courtesy of NASA.)

The Taylor Satellite (TSAT) is a student-developed dual Cube-Sat Unit (4 x 4 x 8 inches) nanosatellite participating in NASA’s ELANA-5 (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites). TSAT was selected by NASA in a competitive program with other universities and was the only undergraduate program chosen. TSAT is short for Taylor, Technology, and TEST – Satellite. Read more about TSAT on Taylor’s Space Research Site here.

To the best of our knowledge, TSAT is the first satellite developed in Indiana and launched into earth’s orbit. It was designed and built at Taylor University. The launch was Friday, April 18, 2014, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. TSAT was dropped off into low earth orbit (300Km altitude) as the Dragon rocket proceeded to the ISS. TSAT powered up and is successfully collecting and communicating its readings to earth since its launch. TSAT was launched on a Space-X rocket to the International Space Station (ISS, CRS#3).

The TSAT prior to launch

The TSAT prior to launch

The primary mission of TSAT is to map out coverage of a new communication link using the existing Globalstar network of 32 plus satellites. The second objective is education: TSAT is a product of the ABET-accredited Engineering programs at Taylor University that enable undergraduate students to work on meaningful projects with real world application. The third objective is collecting new science data in the Ionosphere: A plasma probe is measuring electron density, electron temperature, and vehicle potential. A sensitive 3-axis magnetometer measures the earth’s magnetic field, and ultra-low frequency waves.

You can read about Taylor’s previous and subsequent Satellite Projects here.