JoSS Bulletin - April 2019

Peer Reviewed Articles
Networked Small Satellite Magnetometers for Auroral Plasma Science

J. Brent Parham, Maria Kromis, David Einhorn, Phillip Teng, Sergei Pos-nov, Hannah Levin, Osi Van Dessel, Aleks Zosuls, Brian Walsh, and Joshua Semeter   - Boston University, Massachusetts US 

JoSS, Vol. 08, No. 01 (April 2019) pp. 801-814 
Lasercom Uncertainty Modeling and Optimization Simulation (LUMOS): A Statistical Approach to Risk-Tolerant Systems Engineering for Small Satellites 

Emily Clements, Jeffrey Mendenhall, and David Caplan - MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Massachusetts US
Kerri Cahoy - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts US

JoSS, Vol. 08, No. 01 (April 2019) pp. 815-835

The AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee (SmSTC) invites nominations for candidates for the fifth annual SmallSat Mission of the Year Award. Nominations must be received not later than Friday, Au g. 2, 2019. Please visit to view a list of suggested nominations or submit an anonymous recommendation. You may also submit your nomination directly to

Nominators are encouraged to write in nominees that are not included on the list of suggstions. The following databases may be useful for selecting nominees:  
Kerri Cahoy (L) and Emily Clements (R) award Mission of the Year to the team from the ASTERIA program at the Small Satellite Conference
Kerri Cahoy (L) and Emily Clements (R) present the  2018 Mission of the Year Award to the team from the ASTERIA program at the Small Satellite Conference

The AIAA SmSTC Mission of the Year Award is presented annually to the mission that has demonstrated a significant improvement in the capability of small satellites. Eligible missions must have individual satellite wet mass of less than 150 kg, and must have launched, established communication, and have acquired results from on-orbit after Jan. 1, 2018 00:00:00 UTC. To demonstrate "significant improvement," nominations must show innovation in: spacecraft structural design, scientific instrument development, communications capability, attitude determination and control capability, intersatellite coordination, constellation or cluster management, onboard computing, or other mission aspects. The judges may consider missions with earlier launch dates that had delayed ISS deployments or extensive on-orbit checkout periods, on a case-by-case basis.
The SmSTC will generate a short list of finalists based on the submitted nominations. Finalists will be notified and given the opportunity to contribute to their mission description on the voting webpage. Conference attendees will receive an email at the Pre-Conference Workshop with a link to the final voting webpage, where they are invited to vote and rank the finalists. Voting is open to the public (not limited to Conference attendees), and will close at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, Aug. 7. The Small Satellite Technical Committee will then select the winner, informed by the public vote, and will announce the award at the Conference on Thursday, Aug. 8.
Student explains University research displayed at the Small Satellite Conference Poster Session
Student explains University research displayed at the Small Satellite Conference Poster Session
To highlight and recognize the efforts and accomplishments of student research projects, the AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee (SmSTC) is hosting a new student poster competition that will take place during the Pre-Conference Workshop poster-viewing sessions on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4, 2019. This poster competition is separate from the long-standing Frank J. Redd Competition during SmallSat. The Poster Competition will award certificates and small cash prizes to the top three posters. Students participating in the poster competition are expected to be first author and to be present at their poster during poster viewing times, to engage with the (unidentified) judges. 

Interested Sponsors and Volunteer Judges should contact by 11:59 pm on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Awards will be presented at the Conference on Thursday, August 8.  
NASA SmallSat News

NASA Demos CubeSat Laser Communications Capability
ISARA's Reflectarray Antenna deployed in orbit in preparation for high-speed radio communications demonstration. Credit: The Aerospace Corporation
Two  NASA CubeSats teamed up on an impromptu optical, or laser, communications pointing experiment. The laser beam is seen as a brief flash of light close to the center of the focal plane, to the left of Earth's horizon.

The light originated from the laser communications system onboard one of two  Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) spacecraft. The laser flash was recorded by a short-wavelength infrared camera, one of three cameras comprising the CubeSat Multispectral Observation System (CUMULOS) payload, onboard the  Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray Antenna (ISARA) spacecraft. At the time of the demonstration, the OCSD and ISARA spacecraft were both 280 miles above Earth and about 1,500 miles apart.

The optical communications beam was deliberately aimed at and swept across the ISARA camera. This demonstration shows that an optical crosslink between two CubeSats is feasible with proper pointing and alignment of the emitting and receiving spacecraft. Optimizing this capability could enable constellations of small satellites to transfer high volume data between one another in low-Earth orbit or even in orbit around the  Moon.

For more information, see:
Make plans to join JoSS representatives at these events!
2nd Annual SmallSat & Space Access Summit
Alexandria, Virginia US
June 5-6, 2019
The Defense Strategies Institute (DSI), in partnership with the SmallSat Alliance, will host a comprehensive two-day summit on how the application of small satellites is transforming the space domain. Together with government, industry, and commercial partners, this event will present and highlight the technology currently implemented and in development, and the challenges that exist in enhancing space access and employing SmallSats to ensure space superiority. The 2nd annual SmallSat & Space Access Summit encourages members of the DoD, Intelligence Community, military services, and critical organizations to come together to discuss solutions and techniques to exploit the space domain. 
33rd Annual AAIA/USU SmallSat Conference
Logan, Utah US
August 3-8, 2019
With the theme of "Driving a Revolution," the 33rd Annual AAIA/USU SmallSat Conference will examine the technical issues, development consider- ations, and new opportunities that result from an ever-growing trend toward missions using tens, hundreds, or even thousands of small satellites to achieve revolutionary effects.

See for more information.
JoSS: Submit Your Article for Publication
As  a unique scholarly technical journal dedicated to serving the Small Satellite Community, JoSS aims to publish online original high-quality, topical, peer-reviewed articles, legacy articles about contributions made by small satellites pioneers, and letters to the editor (LTEs). The publication of, and access to, these articles is offered FREE OF CHARGE to encourage students and entrepreneurs to expedite rapid publication of and access to their work. 

To this end, we gladly accept original, creative, previously unpublished articles that address one or more of the JoSS technical Topic Areas. You may visit under "Information for Authors" for the list of Topic Areas and guidelines for preparing and submitting your papers for publication. 

Please distribute this important information to others in the field of small satellites!   
JoSS: Advertising = Visibility for Your Organization 
You may purchase advertising on the JoSS website for your announcement or company for a very reasonable price, to reach the full range of the SmallSat community worldwide. As a not-for-profit organization, JoSS appreciates and values your support through the purchase of advertising space. For more information, see
List of ADP Publications 
JoSSonline is an online journal of the tax-exempt, IRS Code Section 501(c)3, not-for-profit publisher A. Deepak Publishing (ADP, at

In addition to JoSS, ADP  publishes a variety of books, proceedings, and monographs on topics related to science and technology. Click here for a current list of titles for sale through our online store at 

Copyright © A. Deepak Publishing (ADP). All Rights Reserved.