SkyHopper

A pioneering new cubesat space telescope to observe the most distant explosions in the Universe and to find planets around other stars

Get involved in the project: Crowdfunding for student internships

Do you want to help us to put SkyHopper in space?

Our project is progressing well, thanks in part for the amazing work that our student interns are doing. We are hoping to continue this internship program, but the team lacks the resources to fund more internships directly. However, you can help us and have a chance to get involved in the project!

In fact, SkyHopper has been selected as one of the four pilot projects for crowdfunding by The University of Melbourne:

https://tinyurl.com/SkyHopper

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Project update: Expanded science focus, new team members, preliminary design progress, Australian space agency.

The last few months have been hectic but highly productive for the SkyHopper project, and there are several news that will be presented in greater details in the next newsletter and in a major website update. In the meantime, a brief preview of the key highlights:

The SkyHopper and the Australian Space Eye teams joined forces to develop a unified mission concept for Australia’s first space telescope. The combined SkyHopper CubeSat project has an expanded and stronger science case that includes new ambitious planetary science and extragalactic observations, in particular the first high-precision measurement of the unresolved infrared background radiation produced by stars and galaxies during the first billion years after the Big Bang. As a result our team membership has grown significantly at the national level, while at the same team we have established new international collaborations.

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Funding awarded for development of SkyHopper’s innovative camera

SkyHopper’s German CoInvestigators Sylvio Klose (TLS) and Jochen Greiner (MPE) have been awarded more than 1,200,000 AUD (780,000 EUR) to develop the technology at the base of a key component of SkyHopper’s camera that will allow to acquire images simultaneously in four colors.

A schematic of the Kester prism, with light-rays at different wavelengths indicated by different colors. This optical component will allow SkyHopper to simultaneously acquire images in four colors (z’, Y, J, H from bluest to reddest), covering the spectral range from 0.8 to 1.7 microns.

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Our First SkyHopper Interns

We would like to give a warm welcome to our winter Interns, Lauren Jessup and Jack McRobbie. Lauren and Jack are both University of Melbourne students and are working on Melbourne Uni’s first student cubesat in the student run Melbourne Space Program. Lauren studies Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Melbourne and has studied both physics and teaching in New Zealand, while Jack is an undergraduate physics student. We are excited to have both of them on board for the winter break.

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Cubesat Expert Visit and Student Projects

Greetings from Cubesat Central! We recently wrapped up an extremely productive visit from Dr James Mason, a cubesat expert from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado. James was one of the leads in designing, building, and operating a fantastically successful solar-observing cubesat called MinXSS, and has contributed to a few others. As MinXSS was primarily a student-led project, we invited James to visit and share his expertise in not only cubesat development, but also the best way to bring students into the process. SkyHopper team member Dr Katie Mack received generous funding from the University of Melbourne in the form of the Dyason Fellowship to fly James across the ocean for a two-week visit, during which we kept him busy consulting on SkyHopper design and meeting with students who may be involved in the project.

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PARTNER INSTITUTES

Australian Astronomical Observatory ∙ Australian National University ∙ Cambridge University ∙ Curtin University ∙ Istituto Nazionale Di Astrofisica ∙ Macquarie University ∙ Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics ∙ NASA Goddard ∙ NASA Ames ∙ Space Telescope Science Institute ∙ Stonybrook University ∙ Swinburne Institute of Technology ∙ Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg ∙ University of Colorado ∙ University of Leicester ∙ University of New South Wales ∙ University of Southern Queensland ∙ University of Virginia ∙ University of Western Australia