A U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission currently underway aims to maximize the effectiveness of CubeSats—tiny, cost-effective satellites—by showing how they could track and communicate with each other.
The V-R3x mission will test three CubeSats and the underlying technologies that could pave the way for autonomous swarming satellites.
Said Carnegie Mellon University's Zac Manchester, "This mission is a precursor to more advanced swarming capabilities and autonomous formation flying."
Swarms of satellites, potentially numbering in the thousands and working cooperatively, could be used for communications, imaging, and forecasting tasks.
Manchester added, "The satellites will wake up and do their thing autonomously. We mainly need to make sure that we get their data downloaded."
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