Ten universities have been selected to design and build small satellites in a competition sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Space Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Launched in 1999, the University Nanosat Program has involved dozens of academic institutions and over 5000 students, who dedicate their own time to work on this endeavor. The program sponsors the universities through a two year design phase including comprehensive design reviews. Students participate in the reviews and also attend additional education programs providing technical preparation and practical experience to build the next generation of satellites. The winner of the competition, to be announced in January 2015, will be awarded additional funding for the completion of their satellite, which will be scheduled for a future space launch.
The ten universities and their respective small satellite project titles follow: University of California, Los Angeles: Cubesat--Electron Losses and Fields Investigation; Georgia Tech: Reconnaissance of Space Objects Mission; University of Texas at Austin: Software Defined Link Satellite; New Mexico State University: Space Weather Neutrons; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Low Cost CubeSat Mission for Three Dimensional Imaging of Resident Space Objects; Taylor University: Extremely Low Earth Orbit NanoSatellite; Boston University: UNP8/BUsat3 Ad-Hoc Network Demonstration for Spatially Extended Satellite-Based Inquiry and Other; University of Missouri (Rolla): Development and Validation of a Stereoscopic Imager and a Micropropulsion System for Use in Spacecraft Close; University of Florida: Precision Time Transfer with CubeSats; University of Colorado - Boulder: PolarCube: A Passive Microwave CubeSat.