The launch was made under the Polar Scout project, which aims to ensure the effectiveness of space sensors, which support Arctic search and rescue missions.
The data that CubeSats will provide, will be used to inform satellite technology recommendations for potential applications within the USCG and across DHS.
CubeSats are considered as a smaller and cost-efficient solution that can be implemented over a short period of time, as they have the size of a shoebox, John McEntee, director of Border Immigration and Maritime at S&T, explained.
In the 18 months before the launch, DHS S&T created Yukon and Kodiak, which are designed to detect 406 MHz emergency distress beacons. Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) deployed two ground stations using the MC3 architecture and network. The ground stations will receive all of the signals from the CubeSats during the demonstration.
DHS will now test the CubeSats using emergency distress beacons in the Arctic, starting in early 2019 and continuing through the summer. The demonstrations will include downlinking 406 MHz emergency distress beacon data from the CubeSats using the deployed ground stations. Namely, the beacons will be set off, the satellite should detect it and send signals back to the ground station.
The Polar Scout project provides information on the process, cost and feasibility of using organic satellites. USCG and DHS will use the data provided to develop satellite technology recommendations.
Commenting on the launch, Bill Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of Undersecretary for the Science and Technology Directorate, stated:
Undoubtedly, the results and knowledge gained by the Polar Scout Satellite Project will lead to force-multiplying solutions for the Department, which is a big priority in this age of complex threat cycles