UNM’s Trailblazer satellite was manifested and launched on the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) IV Mission. The Trailblazer satellite is part of a class of November nanosatellites called CubeSats. It was launched in 2013 on the Operationally Responsive Space(ORS) ORS-3 launch from Wallops, Virginia. This satellite provides a proof-of-concept flight for an Air Force Sponsored bus technology called Space Plug-and-play Architecture (SPA). The PnP type architecture is a capability that allows for rapid development and delivery of satellite and defense systems similar to what is currently available in a home computer. UNM and its partners have taught more than 800 individuals on SPA.

Logo for the Trailblazer Mission
COSMIAC at the University of New Mexico (UNM) built Trailblazer. Trailblazer has three missions. First is to provide a proof of concept to SPA. Second is to provide flight heritage and receive radiation exposure measurements from a dosimeter designed by COSMIAC in partnership with the Air Force Research Lab. Finally, Trailblazer provided a space qualification platform for an exciting additive manufacturing technology designed by the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). All of these goals have key components for advancing the missions of NASA. The first was to perform a flight test on open-source satellite bus architecture. This project advances space technology by providing low-cost, efficient development and integration technologies that are a large improvement over current approaches. The second was a dosimeter developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, in partnership with COSMAIC, and the third was a 3D circuit board developed by the team at the University of Texas at El Paso. The project was built and operated by students from UNM.

Environmental Testing
Securing Wires with Kapton Tape
Thermal Cycle Chamber
Solar Simulator
Vibration Table