Photo: NASA

Orbiting the Earth.

Our mission is to place the first satellite designed by Columbia undergraduates into low Earth orbit.


NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative gives undergraduate students the opportunity to design and launch a small satellite into low Earth orbit. A cubesat is a standard satellite design that is 10x10x11.35 cm3. If NASA accepts our design, we will be funded to build our cubesat and have it launched into orbit!

Mission Goals

  • Create a low-cost, 24/7 wildfire surveillance CubeSat as a proof of concept.

  • Develop a spectroradiometer-based wildfire detection system/software

  • Communicate with the CubeSat in orbit using Ka band frequency

Related Skills

  • Computer Science/Computer Engineering

  • Electrical Engineering

  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Physics, Math


  • Received funding via NASA New York Space Grant Consortium

  • Completed a design proposal for a cubesat with two scientific payloads: A dynamo that tests the mechanical properties of glass fibers in low Earth orbit conditions.

  • A set of off-the-shelf electronics under different forms of radiation protection that test their viability in low Earth orbit use.

  • Met with the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies to refine design concept (2018)

  • Received funding via NASA New York Space Grant Consortium

  • Received funding from the Activities Board at Columbia which we used to purchase prototyping hardware. (2018)

Mission Directors


Logan Teder

SEAS 2022

Mechanical Engineering


Alyza Tuchler

SEAS 2021

Computer Engineering

Recent News

Cubesat Proposal Decision posted in cubesat

March 23, 2016

We’ve finally heard back from NASA on our USIP proposal, and it’s unfortunately a no go. But that won’t stop us. We’re exploring a possible collaboration on Black Knight II, the U.S. Army’s cubesat. We’ll keep this page updated as we explore more opportunities in the area. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to our initial proposal, as well as everyone who has supported us along the way.


Cubesat Proposal Submitted to NASA posted in cubesat

November 20, 2015

Good news! We’ve submitted our 60+ page proposal to NASA today for the Student Flight Research Opportunity (SFRO). Many thanks to all the team members who’ve contributed to the creation of this proposal! Our cubesat experiments will test the tensile properties of glass, and the viability of certain radiation shielding on commercial electronics. We’ll keep you updated on our results.