A University of Maryland (UMD) team was selected to participate in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) University Nanosatellite Program’s (UNP). The two-year program funds student teams to design, fabricate and test small satellites.
The UMD team is comprised of individuals from the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space at the University of Maryland (SEDS@UMD) group, a student led organization for students interested in various aspects of space, from CubeSats and rocket engines, to outreach in K-12 education.
“This is an incredibly competitive program and only the second time the University of Maryland has been invited to participate,” said Adithya Arun, aerospace engineering undergraduate and SEDS@UMD co-founder. “Through this opportunity, we will be funded and provided mentorship to develop a CubeSat prototype over the next two years.”
UMD was one of ten universities selected from more than twenty candidates to participate in UNP’s eleventh program cycle, with the objective to promote and sustain university research and education focused on small satellites and related technologies.
“We also hope to foster research in enabling technologies, and the design of experiments that can be performed by small satellites in orbit. We are helping to develop the pipeline for the burgeoning space industry,” said Col. Eric Felt, director of the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, in the ARFL press release.
The UPN kick-off will take place in late January in Albuquerque, N.M. The team will then begin work on their CubeSat, THEIA—Telescope Hosting Event-based Imaging Apparatus.
“Our team is extremely excited to develop cutting-edge technology here at UMD,” said Vincent Olindo, aerospace engineering sophomore and THEIA’s Chief Engineer. “UNP will give our members a unique hands-on experience in spacecraft development and allow us to capitalize on Maryland's strong engineering program."
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