Taylor Satellites and Space Research

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

Psalm 8:3-4

A legacy of curiosity

Even though we've been in space for awhile, we still have a lot to learn about our planet and space technology. Satellites provide an excellent vantage point for collecting data for research. Taylor's satellite team has assembled 5 satellites for this purpose, launching two into space.

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TSAT, Indiana's First Satellite

Launched April 2014

The Taylor Satellite (TSAT) was a 4x4x8 inch dual Cube-Sat designed and built by a team of CSE students to test a novel satellite communication method that uses satellite to satellite networking to send data, and to investigate the largely uncharted ionosphere.

TSAT was funded by NASA after Taylor became the only undergraduate institution to win a slot in the ELANA-5 (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites). It was the first satellite made in and by Indiana.

After being launched by the SpaceX Dragon craft, TSAT achieved a connection in just 6 seconds, a complete success, and continued orbiting at almost 5 miles per second for another month before burning in the earth's atmosphere.

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The Extremely Low Earth Orbit Satellite (ELEO-Sat) was built for the Air Force University Nanosat Program. It was designed with the purpose of collecting ionospheric data while also testing the experimental Epsilon Drive, an ion engine designed to extend flight length.

ELEO-Sat advanced to the final ten out of a pool of 30 applicants. Although it never flew, the ELEO-Sat project gave many students invaluable experience.

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MagnITOsat was built by Taylor students collaborating with organizations like Virginia Space and NASA. A ThinSat the size of a slice of bread, MagnITOSat was designed to fly tethered to a similar satellite developed by the Muncie Delaware Robotics club.

MagITOsat was designed to test the concept of tethering. Flying a wire through Earth's magnetic field generates power the satellite can store, while running a current through the wire can create thrust. Taylor students conducted a zero-gravity tether deployment test in the Euler Science complex.

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Launched April 2019

Built by Taylor students, Taylor ThinSat was a part of the first ThinSat constellation to launch into space. The students worked closely with NearSpace Launch, an Upland-based company founded by two former Taylor faculty.

While NearSpace Launch provided the compact ThinSat design, Taylor was the only school to fly one with a payload board of their own design. The ThinSat design featured many of the components from MagnitoSat.

Many of the students invlolved in the design and production of ThinSat were able to watch it launch in April, 2019 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia.

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Want In?

After the success of the last ThinSat, our team is currently working with NearSpace Launch to improve the ThinSat design for another launch. Much of the work on these satellites was done through our rigorous Abet accredited Computer Engineering program, and Engineering Department.