Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction CubeSat Experiment (CIRCE), in situ and Remote Ionospheric Sensing (IRIS) suite

Gemma D.R. Attrill, Andrew C. Nicholas, Graham Routledge, Junayd A. Miah, Dhiren O. Kataria, Cathryn N. Mitchell, Robert J. Watson, James Williams, Alex Agathanggelou, Charles M. Brown, Scott A. Budzien, Tobias Carman, Rahil Chaudery, Kenneth F. Dymond, Ted T. Finne, Alex Fortnam, Bruce Fritz, Alex Hands, Peter J. Marquis, Sean MurphyTalini Pinto-Jayawardena, Duncan Rust, Keith A. Ryden, Dave Schofield, Andrew W. Stephan, Kevin Wiggins, Craig Underwood

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5 Citations (SciVal)


The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is partnering with the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) on a joint mission to launch miniature sensors that will advance space weather measurement and modelling capabilities. The Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction Cubesat Experiment (CIRCE) comprises two 6U cube-satellites that will be launched into a near-polar low earth orbit (LEO), targeting 500 km altitude, in 2021. The UK contribution to CIRCE is the In situ and Remote Ionospheric Sensing (IRIS) suite, complementary to NRL sensors, and comprising three highly miniaturised payloads provided to Dstl by University College London (UCL), University of Bath, and University of Surrey/Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). One IRIS suite will be flown on each satellite, and incorporates an ion/neutral mass spectrometer, a tri-band global positioning system (GPS) receiver for ionospheric remote sensing, and a radiation environment monitor. From the US, NRL have provided two 1U Triple Tiny Ionospheric Photometers (Tri-TIPs) on each satellite (Nicholas et al., 2019), observing the ultraviolet 135.6 nm emission of atomic oxygen at night-time to characterize the two-dimensional distribution of electrons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2020066
JournalJournal of Space Weather and Space Climate
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2021


  • Cube-satellite
  • Ionosphere
  • Space weather

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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