Past Projects


Using surplus and donated equipment, the students will measure ozone density in the atmosphere above Wallops Island. Their data will be analyzed and compared with data gathered by NASA's Earth Radiation Budget Satellite. The pilot project, known as the Colorado Student Ozone Atmospheric Rocket (CSOAR), was developed to demonstrate the use of sounding rocket flight as a valuable educational tool for undergraduate and graduate students.
This joint venture between NASA and the Space Grant Consortiums in Colorado and Virginia provides students hands-on experience in learning the basics of sounding rocket and science instrumentation, as well as learning about atmospheric ozone.



The High Altitude Ozone Measuring & Educational Rocket is based on two previous rocket missions which measured atmospheric ozone and the contituents affecting earth's ozone. The current Homer sounding rocket is an enhanced version of these payloads. The structure has been redesigned and includes a microprocessor for central command and data handling, a video camera has been added to provide accurate attitude information, and the rocket motor has been pgraded to a Nike-Orion to enable the rocket to reach an altitude near 100km. The instrument suite has been extended to include an advanced CCD detector provided by JPL and a new photometer to measure infrared irradiance.

Citizen Explorer

Citizen Exploreris a small satellite mission by the Colorado Space Grant College which provides environmental and space education for K-12 students, significant scientific value, and real world experience for undergraduate and graduate students. The project will bring K-12 students as the ground observers and the virtual mission operators. By doing so, Citizen Explorer mission brings the excitement of space into the K-12 classroom, at the same time opens up a new possibility in satellite operations.


The purpose of the student-led Deployment and Intelligent Nanosatellite Operations (DINO) mission is to determine cloud heights from space, evaluate the performance of intelligent operations, and assess deployment technologies for nanosatellites, which include a gravity-gradient boom, memory composite hinges, and thin-film solar arrays.


This experiment was designed and built by University of Colorado at Boulder students to help measure the sun's effects on Earth's fragile upper atmosphere and was launched by NASA aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 7. The CU-Boulder experiment, developed by nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate students affiliated with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium flew as a secondary payload on the space agency's ATLAS mission. The 10-day flight helped scientists better understand the chemical and physical components of Earth's middle and upper atmospheres. The payload contained the Solar Ultra-Violet Experiment, or SUVE, which consisted of a spectrometer and a spectrograph that recorded solar radiation changes in the extreme ultra-violet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. A third CU instrument, a 35mm camera with a special filter, simultaneously took photographs of the sun, recording sunspots and other solar activity that may be associated with such changes.


Escape II was a student-designed, constructed, tested, and organized scientific payload that studied solar radiation as it affects the thermosphere, a portion of the Earth's upper atmosphere. The ESCAPE II project was an upgraded version of ESCAPE I which flew in April of 1993. The ESCAPE II payload flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in a Get-Away-Special canister in November of 1994 as a secondary payload with the ATLAS III mission.


a student designed, student built, and student operated space experiment. It flew on space shuttle discovery mission STS-85 in 1996. It was the third space shuttle mission flown by Colorado Space Grant. It consisted of two missions: DATA (Distributed Automation Technology Advancement), which was to test advanced remote controlled technologies, as well as CHASER (Colorado Hitchhiker and Student Experiment of Solar Radiation), which was to observe the sun in far ultra violet wavelengths. Over 100 students, the majority of them undergraduates, worked on DATA-CHASER over its 3 year design, build, and flight phases.


The 3CS mission had three primary missions; Stereoscopic Imaging, Virtual-Formation Communications and Distributed and Automated Operations. The University of Colorado was responsible for the imaging and End-to-End Data Systems (EEDS). Images were taken from space and analyzeed them on the ground. EEDS was responsible for command and data handling and mission operations. Arizona State University was responsible for the structure, power and attitude system. The communication system was developed at New Mexico State University.

DemoSat Program Homepage

DemoSat I - SmartSat

The Objective of SmartSat was the on-board ranking of images based on different criteria and the transmission of the best images to ground during flight. As well, requirements included the storage of all images for comparison after flight. The immediate benefit of this project was the efficient use of contact time with the base station.

DemoSat II - SupportSat

SupportSat led the the advancement of a new method of development which used technology in a uniquely inexpensive method. A high altitude balloon brought the SupportSat to the edge of space giving us the unique opportunity to test technologies, equipment, and processes to be used on small satellites developed by Space Grant, NASA, and major aerospace companies. SupportSat is an evolution of the highly successful SmartSat, a DemoSat I Program, developed last year. DemoSat II was a statewide program involving eleven colleges and universities led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

DemoSat III - RedRoverSat

RoverSat's objective is to deploy and operate a rover upon landing as well as image the landing site autonomously. Benefits include the initial prototype development of future Mars or Moon rovers, which will provide new methods that could lead NASA on new design paths. As well, during flight, RoverSat will take solar radiation measurements, as well as altitude and temperature readings throughout ascent and descent. This data will indicate how temperature and solar radiation fluctuate in different layers of the atmosphere. Upon landing, a rover will be deployed which will function autonomously for at least five minutes. Throughout its maneuvering, the Rover will photograph the landing site and surrounding area. The Rover will take at least two pictures.

DemoSat IV - MarkerSat

Information coming soon.

DemoSat V - CubeSat Technology Demo

Information coming soon.

CubeSat I - Hermes

The CubeSat program strives to provide practical, reliable, and cost-effective launch opportunities for small satellites and their payloads. CO3Sat began in July 2006 as the "Jump" portion of COSGC's "Walk/Run/Jump/Fly" program, and hence is intended for junior to senior level undergraduate students. This new family of satellites provides attainable project goals and relatively frequent launches on Russia's Dnepr rockets, achieving low earth orbit, which is conducive to a plethora of scientific experiments, communications projects, and ADCS design testing. The CubeSat is complete and is awaiting launch, CO3Sat is a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm box with communications, power, structures, command and data handling, special operations, and ADCS subsystems. Its goal is to demonstrate a communications link between ground support and low earth orbit, and to power the communication system with solar panels and an internal battery. Hermes was launched on March 4, 2011 from Vandenburg AFB.  Unfortunately all satellites on the Glory launch failed to make orbit.

Peregrine Return Vehicle (AES Senior Design F06-S07)

Peregrine Return Vehicle (PRV) was a senior design project done in collaboration with the CU Aerospace Engineering Sciences (AES) Department, the Colorado Space Grant Consortium (COSGC), and the Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS).  The goal of the PRV project was to develop a return system for COSGC's BalloonSat and DemoSat programs, therefore greatly reducing the risks and efforts associated with the recovery of their payloads. Team members were David Akerman, Ben Reese, Jason Patterson, Zach Hazen, Jen Getz, and Greg Goldberg. Advisors were Dr. Robert Culp, Dr. Donna Gerren, Dr. Lee Peterson, and Dr. Scott Palo of the CU AES faculty. Chris Koehler, of COSGC, was the customer. The PRV is current on display in the Boulder offices of COSGC.


Industry partnership to develop an orbital testbed to test and reduce risk of emerging technology so that new technology can be incorporated into mission critical applications.