AMICal Sat: A sparse RGB imager on board a 2U cubesat to study the aurora

AMICal sat, a dedicated 2U cubesat, has been developed, in order to monitor the auroral emissions, with a dedicated imager. It aims to help to reconstruct the low energy electrons fluxes up to 30 keV in Earth auroral regions. It includes an imager entirely designed in Grenoble University Space Center. The imager uses a 1.3 Mpixels sparse RGB CMOS detector and a wide field objective (f=22.5 mm). The satellite platform has been built by the polish company Satrevolution. Launched September, 3rd, 2020 from Kuru (French Guyana) on board the Vega flight 16, it produces its first images in October 2020. The aim of this paper is to describe the design of the payload especially the optics and the proximity electronics, to describe the use of the payload for space weather purpose. A preliminary analysis of a first image showing the relevance of such an instrument for auroral monitoring is performed. This analysis allowed to reconstruct from one of the first images the local electron input flux at the top of the atmosphere during the exposure time.
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IEEE Journal on Miniaturization for Air and Space Systems
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