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.
Accion Systems supplies state-of-the-art electric propulsion systems for all Irvine CubeSats, plus their staff provides heroic technical support for our teachers, even on-site. Their CEO, Natalya Bailey, is a role model for all our students to pursue a career in STEM.
Ecuadorian Space Agency (EXA) supplies the power systems for all Irvine CubeSats, including both batteries and deployable solar panels, as well as our flight-rated laser optical communication system. EXA also sends their astronaut, Cdr. Ronnie Nader, to motivate everyone on the ICSP.
Tyvak Nanosatellites supplies the main electronics and radio subsystems on the first two Irvine CubeSats. They also provided integration services for our first launch to space, guiding us through the process of putting a CubeSat to Low Earth Orbit, all from Irvine.