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DemoSat V:.  Sun Specto Sat. Motoaki Honda (UNC) Maurice Woods III (UNC) Sara Gray (MCHS). University of Northern Colorado. Montezuma- Cortez High School. July 8, 2006. Mission Statement & Goals:.

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DemoSat V:

 Sun Specto Sat

Motoaki Honda (UNC)

Maurice Woods III (UNC)

Sara Gray (MCHS)

University of

Northern Colorado

Montezuma- Cortez

High School

July 8, 2006

Mission Statement & Goals:

  • The Sun Spectro Sat (SSS) is a high altitude spectrometer that measures how the spectrum of ambient sunlight varies at different altitudes as the payload ascends into the Earth's atmosphere

  • By using data from the SSS of the suns spectrum: 

    • Analyze the atmosphere at different altitudes 

    • Determine where certain gases exist in the atmosphere

Benefits to NASA:

  • The information found the project will show what elements exist in the atmosphere and at what elevation those elements can be found.

  • Data obtained by the SSS flight can be compared to similar research conducted in the past to see how the atmosphere has changed

Benefits to NASA:

  • Having a better understanding of the composition of our atmosphere provides great opportunities for scientists (such as meteorologists) to conduct atmospheric research

  • NASA may also be interested in this project,  as a similar probe could be launched to extraterrestrial planets to conduct research on the make-up of an alien atmosphere. The SSS design is ideal, since it is small, cheap, and light.


Operation Flow Chart


Basic payload design


Fundamental Block Diagram




Parabolic Reflector System

Project STAR


GigaWare 1080p HD Camcorder


  • Total Mass :  

  •             1625g (mass borrowed from UNC Rover SAT Project)

    • Budget:

  •             $300

    • Three students involved

      • Maurice Woods III (Project Advisor)

      • Motoaki Honda (Project Advisor)

      • Sara Gray (Project Manager)

  • Project Start Date:

  •             June 16th, 2010

  • Expected Results:

    • SSS is expected to show that certain frequencies of the sun's ambient light are absorbed by gasses that exist in the Earth's atmosphere. As the payload gains altitude, the concentration and composition of these gasses should change, and the amount of absorption should change.

    • SSS is expected to show that the observable spectrum of the sun is more complete inthe high atmosphere than it is on the Earth's surface.

    Expected Results:

    • The film will show the Fraunhofer lines as shown below.

    • The Fraunhofer lines can be used to determine the chemical make-up of the atmosphere.


    Cold Test Results:

    Camera and heater containment system were placed in an environment 

    cooled to about -80℃ using Liquid Nitrogen


    Spectral Detection and Focus Test Results (Camera):

    The original camera used to record the spectrum produced by the spectroscope had limited resolution and no means of appropriately magnifying the image (limited to 4x digital zoom).

        New camera does not require the use of extra lenses to magnify the image produced by the spectroscope, as it contains its own “5x optical zoom”.

    DemoSat V:


    Montezuma- Cortez

    High School

    University of Northern Colorado