Hungary has a long history in space research, in which its accession to the European Space Agency (ESA) Convention was a distinguished milestone. Following the conclusion of the ratification process, the opportunity has emerged to implement a Hungarian microsatellite mission in the frame of ESA’s General Support Technology Programme (GSTP).
In order to realize the mission, the C3S Electronics Development LLC (C3S), with the majority of its engineers having been involved in the development of the first Hungarian satellite Masat-1, and the Space Dosimetry Research Group of the Centre for Energy Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA EK) developing instruments for cosmic radiation measurements on different types of spacecraft have entered into a cooperation.
The joint mission was given the name RADCUBE to express its primary objective: the real-time monitoring of the cosmic radiation and space weather environment, and visualization of the measurement data for the industry and the public.
The 3U CubeSat platform, three times the size of Masat-1, is developed by C3S, while its payload, the cosmic ray and space weather monitoring instrument, RadMag is provided by MTA EK. The launch is expected around late 2018, the earliest.
A Hungarian development can be the first of its kind to provide a comprehensive and more detailed picture of the radiation environment around the Earth. By using the CROSS system designed by Hungarian researchers, both the Hungarian and the international players performing space activities can provide the required level of safety of spacecraft, spacecraft components and astronauts to be sent into space more precisely and with a better efficiency. For the scientific community CROSS is going to provide a means to study the changes in the radiation environment around the Earth more deeply and comprehensively.