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DANDE Satellite

SPIRIT III Rocket - Glory Spacecraft - DANDE Spacecraft


Spherical satellite measuring neutral density and atmospheric drag on spacecraft to improve orbital prediction models. LAUNCHED on September 29th, 2013!

DANDE is a spherical spacecraft designed to measure on orbit drag variability that occurs during solar storms. As radiation hits the atmosphere, it actually swells causing the density variables to have temporary spikes which has a significant affect on low-flying spacecraft such as the international space station. A single day-long solar storm can cause a spacecraft to drift a distance that would normally be seen over several months. DANDE uses it's physical form factor, accelerometers and a neutral wind instrument to determine how density variability affects drag on spacecraft.

DANDE is a student spacecraft being built at the Colorado Space Grant Consortium at the University of Colorado. DANDE is the winner of the University Nanosat Program, and has received funding/launch support by the Air Force Research Lab for the 2012 program. My role on this project was within Structures, Integration/Testing, and Management. For a lot more information and pictures, visit

The Spacecraft supported by crane during a mass properties test at Lockheed Martin.

The inside of DANDE, hemispheres removed. The black box contains the batteries, the hexagonal box is the accelerometer instrument, the long gold rod is a magnetic torque rod (counter acts with the Earth's magnetic field to create a spin), the red blocks are the ground supporting mounts and are removed before flight.

The core DANDE team in January of 2009 when selected as the University Nanosat V winners.