Student Collaboration


The IMAP Student Collaboration (SC) is a program developed through the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Howard University (HU), and University of Colorado (CU) that provides students of diverse backgrounds with hands-on, mission experience.  Students will design and build a CubeSat with two scientific instruments, and engage in scientific studies of the origin of energetic particles in the innermost magnetosphere. The SC improves diversity through recruitment, inclusion and retention, especially targeted to under-represented populations in STEM. 

Science and Engineering Objectives

Undergraduate, graduate and high school students will design, develop, build, and launch a small satellite (a 6U CubeSat) with the science objective to determine how particles get injected into and accelerated in Earth’s magnetosphere, which complements measurements taken by IMAP in the inner heliosphere. This augments the fourth science objective of IMAP of “identifying and advancing [our] understanding of particle injection and acceleration processes near the Sun, in the heliosphere, and in the heliosheath”. The students analyze the measurements of the CubeSat in combination with observations by IMAP and the rest of NASA’s Heliophysics System Observatory to determine the relative importance of particles accelerated locally particles accelerated in the corona and precipitating into the auroral regions, and particles accelerated at Earth’s bow shock.

Science Questions

To reach the SC science objectives, the IMAP SC addresses two science questions:

1: How are particles accelerated in the inner heliosphere later injected into Earth’s inner magnetosphere?;

2: How are energetic particles accelerated and injected into Earth’s magnetosphere during substorms.