Project Management

Principal Investigator:

Program Manager:

  • Robert Zimmerman - rmz8 (

Project Advisors:

  • Dr. Mark Campbell
  • Dr. Mark Psiaki

Spacecraft Technologist:

  • Liran Gazit - lg345


The Attitude Determination, Control, and Navigation Subsystem (ADCNS) executes the relative navigation that will be used for CUSat's in-orbit inspection procedures. CUSat will primarily be using three GPS boards for attitude determination. For attitude control, CUSat will be using pulsed-plasma thrusters (PPTs) and torque coils. The software portion of ADCNS will consist of the relative navigation algorithms, which will run the various modes of operation defined by the CONOPs.

Lead: Patrick Conrad - prc23 (

Subsystem Members
Gordon Briggs - gmb35 Ankit Disa - asd47
Sarah Hefter - sh546 Rob Kesselman - rjk38
Arthur Kirkby - amk68 Ricky Koontz - rlk35
Ian Livingston - isl5 Brian Pescatore - bhp7
Karthik Rao - kr268 Clinton Tepper - cst25
Adam Yozwiak - awy23


The camera team is responsible for acquiring images while in orbit, compressing them in a modified JPEG format, and relaying them to the onboard computer, C&DH.

Lead: Howard Kim - hgk5 (

Subsystem Members
Matthew Meister - mrm58

Command and Data Handling

C&DH is the central hub for communication and computation on the satellite. Using a commercial off the shelf (COTS) single board computer running Windows CE and C++, C&DH will execute the ADCNS algorithms and flight code.

Subsystem Members
Zoe Chiang - lzc2 Brian Rudo - bcr22


The GPS team is responsible for the GPS receivers, antennas and algorithms used to calculate sub-centimeter relative positioning.

Lead: Dan Lee - dl285 (

Ground Segment

The Ground Segment is responsible for the ground operations of the satellite, including ground to satellite communication, tracking and commanding.

Subsystem Members
Nathaniel Parsons - nsp25


The Harness subsystem is responsible for satellite wiring, the electronics backplane, the electrical interface boards, and any System level electrical concerns.

Lead: Steve Fuertes - saf42 (

Subsystem Members
Tom Gowing - teg25 Robert Nitkin - ran24
Tyler Orchowski - tjo27 Arjun Prakash - asp36

Industry Relations

The Industry Relations team is responsible for marketing CUSat and seeking commercial and academic sponsorship. If you are interested in sponsoring our project, please see our sponsors page.

Lead: Robert Nitkin - ran24 (

Subsystem Members
Taek Kyun - tyk2

Integration and Testing

The I&T team is responsible for enabling rapid integration and testing of CUSat. I&T is also responsible for testing CUSat in Cornell University's thermal vacuum chamber.

Lead: Tracy Dong - twd4 (

Lead: Matt Rozek - mlr48 (

Lead: Matthew Safran - mls256 (

Subsystem Members
Michael Epstein - mde23 Michael Goetz - mag222
River Granados - abg78 Andrew Hoelscher - aoh4
Jay Jackson - jaj73 William Loo - wl225
Kate McGinnis - kam226 Deanna Muniz-Salazar - dem47

Mechanical Hardware

The Mechanical Hardware team manufactures the satellite structure and manages the design. The structure includes eight isogrid panels as well as numerous electronics board enclosures. This team also develops the Pulsed-Plasma Thrusters (PPTs) that are used for attitude and position control.

Lead: Kevin Meissner - kam249 (

Subsystem Members
Chase Mira - cam224

Mission Ops

The Mission Ops team defines the detailed, on orbit operations plan for both CUSat satellites. Operating procedures are defined to match with hardware and mission specifications and help ensure successful execution of the mission.

Subsystem Members
Toby Butterfield - tlb54 Ted Hammond - ech32
Melissa Horowitz - mfh24 Jeff Lee - jl878
Nao Murakami - nm226 Brandon Richardson - bsr26
Wendy Shaun - wxs2


The power team is responsible for harnessing solar energy, storing it, and distributing it throughout the satellite.

Lead: Will Huang - wh84 (

Subsystem Members
Arjun Prakash - asp36


The propulsion team is responsible for CUSat's pulsed plasma thrusters (PPTs) which give each satellite three degrees of translational freedom and three degrees of rotational freedom.

Lead: Justin Hahn - jdh59 (

Subsystem Members
Dan Davis - did4 Xiao Li - xl72
Eric Prehn - dep53 Ravi Surdhar - rs598
Richard Yu - rxy2


The structures team is responsible for designing, analyzing, and manufacturing the body of the satellite as well as the logistics of the internal components.

Lead: Jeremy Rosenweig - jpr36 (

Subsystem Members
Max Knobel - mwk29 Tim Lin - hl322
Paul Torrey - pat26


The Survivability team is responsible for analyzing and controlling the satellite's thermal, electrical and vibrational environment on the ground, during launch, and in orbit. Analyzed effects include ESD, atomic oxygen effects, venting and outgassing.

Lead: Ofer Eldad - oe23 (

Subsystem Members
Michelle Chopra - mmc67 Reshma Hooda - rnh7


The CUSat Satellite project employs Systems Engineering extensively. The Systems group is largely responsible for providing the project with direction by creating top level system requirements, creating best practices, maintaining communications, making design choices, and creating processes for creating a successful product. Each of the subsystem leads also participates as a member of the Systems group, which allows the project to maintain consistency and focus.

Lead: Robert Zimmerman - rmz8 (

Telemetry and Command

T&C is responsible for intersatellite communications as well as satellite to ground communications. T&C uses modified commercial radios operating in amateur frequency bands to transmit images taken by the satellites to the ground station.

Lead: Isaiah Oloyebe - ioo3 (