About Irvine CubeSat
"Changing the way students experience STEM"
Irvine CubeSat STEM Program (ICSP) is a project-based learning collaboration between K-12 education institutions, industry partners, non-profit organizations, and parent volunteers whose primary focus is to teach, train, and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals, while also creating opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM-related fields. ICSP brings together over 100 students from six public high schools in the City of Irvine, California, whose main objective is to assemble, program, test, and launch a CubeSat into low Earth orbit (LEO) to perform a number of scientific experiments and explore new space technologies.
In 2015 Dr. Brent Freeze and Kain Sosa established ICSP with Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), Irvine Unified School District (IUSD), Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) to change the way K-12 students experience STEM education.
Irvine Cubesat Stem Program: Team Roles
Pilot Mission: Irvine 01
IRVINE01 was launched successfully from Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on November 10 2018 on an Electron rocket operated by Rocket Lab. Aboard this 1U CubeSat is a deployable solar array, plus a low-resolution camera that will take pictures of Venus, stars and other celestial objects. Data from these images will be used to calculate the distances to those objects and determine the pointing accuracy of the satellite. Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems is the payload integrator for IRVINE01. This first launch is made possible by supported from our funding partner IPSF.
Though the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program (ICSP) is mainly composed of students and teachers, it is also supported by the aerospace community. These supporters include experts at prominent companies and institutions, while others are parent volunteers.
They serve as role models to the students, advise the teachers, and provide a diverse range of assistance, especially in verifying the CubeSat assembly before launch:
Laser communication safety and test
Software defined radio transmit test
Space environmental radiation test
Vibration and thermal vacuum test
The students receive embedded systems programming and functional test guidance from a range of mentors, as well as guidance on assembly, integration, launch permits, and orbital operations. The mentoring process continues after science data gets downloaded from space, as students practice analytic techniques to further hone their skills.