Mechanism of cooperation for the development of a Central American Space Project - A regional CubeSat

Marco Gómez Jenkins, Byron García, Adolfo Chaves Jiménez, Daniel García, Johan Carvajal-Godínez, Jonatán Lara, Luis Zea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The Central American region has embarked on different endeavors related to space engineering in recent years. CubeSat missions are currently being independently developed in Costa Rica and Guatemala, with the main purpose of training the human resources, creating the know-how, and infrastructure necessary to execute end-to-end space missions. On the longer term, both groups seek to develop further small satellite missions that will allow scientists and engineers to address the needs of the region, which include remote sensing, communications, monitoring of drug trafficking, illegal fishing, assessing the impact of and preparing for climate change, among others. Both teams understand that to potentiate their capacities beyond the realm of these initial projects, cooperation among peer teams is mandatory. Due to the similar socio-economic situation of both countries and their similar level of development and geographical closeness, there exists a great potential for collaboration. In this scenario, it has been concluded that the best way to develop this collaboration is through the development of a joint space engineering project. This paper proposes a CubeSat mission that will initiate cooperation between research institutions in Central America, led by Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) and Costa Rica Institute of Technology (TEC). Previous examples of collaboration between countries of different regions in space-related projects are analyzed and discussed. A methodology developed by researchers at UVG is used to selecting the mission that would benefit the Central American region the most while considering programmatic risk and technical feasibility. This work serves as the basis for determining aspects such as spacecraft capabilities, specifications, and resources needed. Additionally, it helps define the different spacecraft subsystems and other mission features including project management, funding acquisition, testing, launch, and operations. The design philosophy is presented as well, which consists of incremental innovation, starting with the use of high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) spacecraft components from established suppliers, leading to subsystem development by universities and industry in the region. Furthermore, the distribution of responsibilities between participating organizations is defined based on the capabilities of the stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication68th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2017
Subtitle of host publicationUnlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Pages11874-11885
Number of pages12
Volume18
ISBN (Print)9781510855373
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Event68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 25 Sep 201729 Sep 2017
Conference number: 68
http://www.iafastro.org/events/iac/iac-2017/

Conference

Conference68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017
Abbreviated titleIAC 2017
CountryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period25/09/1729/09/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • Emerging space nations
  • Forest monitoring
  • International collaboration

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