Alaska Research CubeSat

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Alaska Space Grant Program


The Alaska Research CubeSat (ARC) is a series of CubeSats designed and constructed entirely by engineering and science students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Students are currently working on the second ARC satellite, ARC2. The objectives of ARC2 are to:

  • Provide authentic, interdisciplinary, hands-on student experiences in science and engineering through the design, development, and operation of a student small satellite mission.
  • Characterize thermal and vibration environment inside the launch vehicle from ignition to orbit insertion.
  • Validate a high bandwidth communication system by obtaining images of changing snow/ice coverage in arctic regions.
ARC1 was launched in October 2015, but contact was never made. Following a critical failure analysis, students identified several areas of improvement for the design and are incorporating these improvements into ARC2. ARC2 is tentatively expected to launch in late 2018.


This exploded model shows the design of the ARC2 satellite and each of its associated subsystems. Click a subsystem to learn more about its design and operation.


Testing of ARC1This section hasn't been written yet! If you have questions, or would like to see this section written, email Denise Thorsen at If it remains unwritten, we'll add her cellphone so she can answer your questions any time of day!

Get in touch

Feel free to contact us for further information or collaboration opportunities.

  • Address

    Joseph E. Usibelli Engineering Building (JUB), Room 146
    1764 Tanana Loop, JUB 146
    Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
  • Email (Denise Thorsen, SSEP Faculty Advisor) (Quetzal Luebke-Laroque, SSEP Lab Manager)
  • Social