As one of our community outreach activities, Emergent has been working with Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) in Alexandria, VA on a CubeSat project called TJREVERB (Thomas Jefferson Research and Education Vehicle for Evaluating Radio Broadcasts), which was recently selected for launch in the eighth round of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-announces-eighth-class-of-candidates-for-launch-of-cubesat-space-missions).
The partnership between TJ and Emergent started in December 2015 when Emergent’s Chief Engineer and Vice President of Research and Development, Dr. Sun Hur-Diaz, approached the school’s Director of Energy Systems, Michael Piccione, about starting a new CubeSat project. It would be TJ’s second such project since 2015 when they were the first high school in the country to build and launch a CubeSat. With another partner company, Ragnarok Industries, willing to donate key CubeSat components for their project, Emergent worked with the teacher and a group of dedicated students to develop a winning proposal for the CSLI program. Prior to the proposal submission in November 2016, a Merit Review and a Feasibility Review were held with invited government and industry reviewers whose assessments were included in the proposal. A 3-D printed model of their CubeSat (shown on the right) was presented at their Feasibility Review.
In the summer of 2016, Emergent sponsored two students from the TJREVERB project for an internship where they learned about orbit dynamics and orbit determination of CubeSats in low Earth orbit using NASA’s General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) software. This summer, Emergent is sponsoring three students from TJREVERB to learn about attitude dynamics and control of their CubeSat. In addition to the mentoring and the internships, Emergent has donated money towards the purchase of their CubeSat chassis.
Additional articles about the TJREVERB project can be found at
Emergent’s Chief Engineer and VP of R&D, Dr. Sun Hur-Diaz (3rd from the left) poses with the TJHSST teacher, Mr. Michael Piccione (2nd from the left), and the members of Ragnarok Industries at the official TJREVERB Project Kickoff on April 22, 2017.