LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Students attending The University of Louisiana at Lafayette designed and built a small solar-powered satellite that will be used by NASA.

According to the release, “UL Lafayette’s Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experience, or CAPE, team will build a small research satellite after being one of eight groups in the country recently selected for NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. The initiative enables colleges and universities to conduct scientific investigations in space; findings, in turn, assist NASA exploration and technology development.”

The satellite’s purpose is to measure radiation levels in the atmosphere.

Dr. Jared Tessier, leader of the CAPE team, said another objective of the mission is “deep space radio experimentation – examining cost-effective systems that could be sent to the moon or beyond.”

The satellite will measure radiation in three way that will validate the accuracy.

“Measurements will be taken with a neutron radiation detector; with a small plastic chip embedded inside credit card-like device that could be worn by astronauts on space suits; and with a modified smart phone camera, which holds image sensors capable of detecting radiation,” stated the release.