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Cosmic X-ray Background Nanosatellite (CXBN)-2 is a follow-on mission to CXBN.

CXBN-2 is a 2-U cubesat that was launched on September 13, 2012, as a secondary payload on the NASA ELaNa VI OUTSat mission. While CXBN is successfully operating on orbit, a number of improvements are envisioned that would improve the precision of the scientific measurement (increase the S/N) made by CXBN and improve the reliability of the spacecraft bus while advancing the flight software and therefore the mission and spacecraft capabilities. CXBN-2 is proposed with these design improvements incorporated.

Much has been learned by the team on the operations end that will be incorporated into both the spacecraft design and the ground segment. Additionally, mission operations at Morehead State University now utilizes the substantial gain of our 21 m Antenna system, when combined with Software Defined Radio systems and techniques, significantly reduces mission risk by implementing the ability to detect and decode extremely weak beacons, telemetry, and down-linked data from small spacecraft in LEO with limited prime power and transmission power.

The goal of the CXBN-2 mission is to increase the precision of measurements of the Cosmic X-Ray Background in the 30-50 keV range top a precision of <5%, thereby constraining models that attempt to explain the relative contribution of proposed sources lending insight into the underlying physics of the early universe. The mission addresses a fundamental science question that is clearly central to our understanding of the structure, origin, and evolution of the universe by potentially lending insight into both the high energy background radiation and into the evolution of primordial galaxies. CXBN-2 will map the Extragalactic Diffuse X-Ray Background (DXB) with a new breed of Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) detector (first flown on CXBN) but with twice the detector array area of its precursor and with careful characterization and calibration. The DXB is a powerful tool for understanding the early universe and provides a window to the most energetic objects in the far-away universe. Although studied previously, existing measurements disagree by about 20%. With the novel CZT detector aboard CXBN-2 and an improved array configuration, a new, high precision measurement is possible. In ~1 year of operation the experiment will have collected 3 million seconds of good data, reaching a broadband S/N ~250.

Contact Information

Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Center

235 Martindale Dr.
Morehead, KY 40351

PHONE: 606-783-2224