TROPICS Mission Implementation

The TROPICS constellation will be formulated with up to four CubeSats in each of three orbital planes with the following launch parameters: equally spaced RAAN (±30° tolerance), 600 km altitude (550±50 km tolerance), 30° inclination (±3° tolerance). These mission parameters will meet science requirements should the threshold number of CubeSats (eight) be implemented.
Analyses have shown orbit lifetime of 9 years, well over the expected mission lifetime of one year and well in advance of the 25-year de-orbit requirement. This configuration yields 30-minute median revisit rates with average spatial resolution better than precipitation and all-weather temperature and humidity (PATH) requirements, all from a low-cost, low-risk CubeSat constellation platform.

Command, Control, Communication and Data Elements
for the TROPICS Constellation of CubeSats

Continuous, sustained, high-refresh imaging and sounding observations will profoundly improve our fundamental
understanding of the thermodynamic and microphysical processes driving high-impact storms.