RainCube (Radar in a CubeSat) is a technology demonstration mission to enable Ka-band precipitation radar technologies on a low-cost, quick-turnaround platform. Sponsored by NASA's Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) through the InVEST-15 program, RainCube developed a 35.75 GHz radar payload to operate within the 6U CubeSat form factor. This mission will validate a new architecture for Ka-band radars and an ultra-compact lightweight deployable Ka-band antenna in a space environment to raise the technology readiness level (TRL) of the radar and antenna from 4 to 7 within the three year life of the program. RainCube will also demonstrate the feasibility of a radar payload on a CubeSat platform. The project completed integration and testing in February 2018 and was delivered in March 2018. RainCube will be delivered to the ISS on the OA-9 resupply mission that launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on May 21.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Ka-band precipitation profiling radar
- Ka-band parabolic deployable antenna