Climate change and global warming are attributed to the increased levels of greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere. Miniature low-cost, lightweight instruments on-board low-cost nanosatellite platforms such as CubeSats could be used to provide precise measurements of greenhouse gases levels. CubeSats, which usually have a narrow field of view, cost a fraction of what more expensive satellites with wide swaths cost. MeznSat is a 3U CubeSat that will carry a shortwave infrared (SWIR) micro-spectrometer as its primary payload, with the aim of deriving greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere by making observations in the 1000–1650 nm wavelength region. The satellite, which is planned for launch in March 2020, is the result of a collaborative project between Khalifa University of Science and Technology (KUST) and the American University of Ras Al-Khaimah (AURAK) with a fund from the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAE-SA). The primary payload, Argus 2000, is a miniature, low-cost, space-qualified spectrometer that operates in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) bands. Argus 2000 is a ruggedized unit with a mass of less than 230 g and power consumption of less than 1 W. Also, the Argus 2000 has 0.15 degrees viewing angle and 15 mm fore-optics. The secondary payload will consist of a high definition (HD) camera that will allow post-processing to achieve the high geolocation accuracy required for the SWIR spectrometer data. The RGB combination of visible and SWIR bands setup makes MeznSat a unique CubeSat mission that will generate an interesting dataset to explore atmospheric correction algorithms, which employ SWIR data to process visible channels. This paper describes the mission feasibility, mission analysis, design, and status of MeznSat.
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