From February 26 to March 10, 2017, a team from the CSUG (Centre Spatial Universitaire de Grenoble - Grenoble University Space Center)1 travelled to Norway to approve ground tests on its space weather nanosatellite, ATISE.
ATISE is CSUG's first project. Its scientific purpose is to conduct research on space weather, and more specifically, to observe the aurora borealis. The scientific instrument developed by the CSUG will measure the light spectrum of the northern lights, in order to better understand the process of light emission, and eliminate the flow of particles from solar wind likely to disrupt technological systems. As a sponsor of CSUG, Air Liquide is supporting this project.
Since the project was launched in 2015, around 50 students from various courses at Grenoble University have helped to build the key instrument of this nanosatellite, which weighs less than 20 kg, working on optical, mechanical and thermal aspect. The project was conducted in partnership with the Toulouse University Space Center, which makes the platform and the flight instruments, while the center in Grenoble is in charge of scientific measurement instrumentation. The feasibility phase was just approved by the CNES and the CSUG's partners. ATISE will be sent into orbit in 2020, at 650 km from the Earth, and its mission will be to take photos of auroral regions and send them back to Earth.
1In February 2016, Air Liquide signed a sponsorship agreement with the University of Grenoble Foundation (UGA) to support the Grenoble University Space Center.