June 3, 2021


Characterizing the South Atlantic Anomaly and its correlation with aurora
PartnerUniversity of Aix-Marseille
Launch dateScheduled mid-2020
Launch baseGuiana Space Centre (Vega)
OrbitSun-synchronous, 615 km
Mission lifetimeAbout 1 to 2 years

CASAA-Sat—for CArtographie de la SAA (mapping the SAA)—is the first student nanosatellite project from Marseille, initiated in 2013 by CNES and the LAM astrophysics laboratory.

The project’s goal, besides giving students the chance to work on advanced concepts like controlling the satellite’s attitude and modelling its power systems, is to study the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). From its 615-km perch in polar orbit, the satellite will regularly fly over Argentina and Brazil, where this phenomenon is easiest to observe.

CASAA-Sat is a 2U cubesat equipped to:

  • Measure charged particle flux
  • Measure magnetism in the SAA region
  • Photograph luminous phenomena, notably at the poles
  • Correlate these measurements in an effort to gain new insights into the SAA

35 to 40 students work on CASAA-Sat every year.