Green Cube

The undergraduates in the JPL-sponsored GreenCube project of the Lynch Rocket Lab, are developing a CubeSat-class autonomous sensor payload, which they fly on balloons across New Hampshire and this spring will be floating in an array down the Connecticut (and other) River(s). ``Cubesat'' is a small satellite prototype established by CalPoly and Stanford Universities. Similar satellites have been used by many other universities and student satellite programs because of its relatively easy and inexpensive design. Our 3UCubeSat payloads fly on bursting balloons that reach approximately 90,000 ft. in the air before falling back to earth with a parachute. The total flight takes approximately two hours. We have flown 6 such flights across NH so far. This spring we will be floating an array of 20 Arduino-based GPS-enabled GreenCube payloads down rivers to study river transport of large woody debris, an important parameter in geography studies of fluvial morphology and of recent importance in Vermont given the damage done by Hurricane Irene last year.