MAXWELL is a 6U CubeSat that is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory's University Nanosat Program 9. The team has won phase A of the competition which will provide the satellite with a launch to orbit. The flight design builds on the heritage of the CSSWE, MinXSS and QB50-Challenger CubeSats which have been developed at the University of Colorado Boulder and all demonstrated mission success. This project will mature hardware designed by the PI, Dr. Scott Palo, as part of the NASA Small Satellite Technology Program to develop a high rate CubeSat communication system that is compatible with the NASA Near-Earth Network.

The MAXWELL CubeSat is part of the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Graduate Projects course that engages students from across the College of Engineering in the design, build, test and operation of spacecraft hardware. We have utilized the graduate projects course for the development of our 3 prior CubeSats with great success. This mission will demonstrate high rate communications capabilites of CubeSats and raise the TRL of relevant technologies communications technologies. More than 100 students will have the opportunity to be involved with the project and learn the key elements of systems engineering based satellite design. Involvement in on the project is designed to educate and train highly qualified students so they prepared to enter the aerospace workforce with significant hands-on experience and knowledge about what it takes to build and operate a successful space mission.

Read the MAXWELL Mission Handbook: A comprehensive technical and programmatic summary of the MAXWELL mission.

Click here to view an interactive 3-D model of the MAXWELL Satellite design