A complete mission concept design and analysis of the student-led cubesat project: Light-1

Aaesha Almazrouei, Aaliya Khan, Abdullah Almesmari, Ahmed Albuainain, Ahmed Bushlaibi, Ali Al Mahmood, Ali Alqaraan, Alya Alhammadi, Amina Albalooshi, Ashraf Khater, Aysha Alharam, Basel Altawil, Bashayer Alkhzaimi, Ebrahim Almansoori, Firas Jarrar, Hamzeh Issa, Heyam Alblooshi, Muhammad Taha Ansari, Nouf Alzaabi, Nouf BraikPanagiotis Dimitropoulos, Prashanth Marpu, Reem Alialali, Ruqayya Alhammadi, Rzan Al-Haddad, Salama Almazrouei, Shaima Bahumaish, Vu Thu, Yaqoob Alqassab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Terrestrial gamma ray flashes (TGF) are intense and prompt bursts of X-and gamma-rays of up to 100 MeV of energy. Typically associated with thunderstorm activity, TGFs are produced by bremsstrahlung effects of electrons accelerated in strong electric fields generated by lightning. TGFs can be effectively targeted by gamma detectors with enhanced time stamping capabilities onboard of satellites operating at near-Earth low obits (LEO) [1]. Light-1 is a miniature satellite, a 3U CubeSat designed to detect, monitor and study terrestrial gamma ray flashes in low Earth orbit. The two payload detectors are composed of a photomultiplier tube and silicon photomultipliers. The two detectors are mounted at two ends of the CubeSat and the proposed orientation of the CubeSat will ensure maximum TGF detection probability. To allow an increased frequency of data downlink, Khalifa University has collaborated with Nano Avionics Corp, and hence Light-1 has access to three ground stations situated across the map, Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates, Vilnius in Lithuania, and Aalborg in Denmark. The satellite expected to launch in late-2021 is currently in its assembly and integration phase. This paper describes mission, concept, objectives, success criteria, design, analysis, status, and the future plans of Light-1 satellite.

Original languageBritish English
Article number247
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • 3U CubeSats
  • CubeSats
  • Finite element analysis
  • Mission analysis
  • Mission concept
  • Mission design


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