PocketQube

A PocketQube is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that usually has a size of 5 cm cubed (one eighth the volume of a CubeSat), has a mass of no more than 250 grams, and typically uses commercial off-the-shelf components for its electronics.

PocketQube
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass250g
Dimensions5 × 5 × 5 cm (1p)
 

Beginning in 2009,[1] Morehead State University (MSU) and Kentucky Space developed the PocketQube specifications to help universities worldwide to perform space science and exploration. While the bulk of development comes from academia, several companies build PocketQubes, such as Fossa Systems and Alba Orbital.[2] PocketQube projects have even been the subject of Kickstarter campaigns.[3][4] The PocketQube format is also popular with amateur radio satellite builders.[5]

DesignEdit

The PocketQube specification accomplishes several high-level goals. Simplification makes it possible to design and produce a workable satellite at low cost. Encapsulation of the launcher-payload interface takes away the prohibitive amount of managerial work previously required for mating a piggyback satellite with its launcher. Unification among payloads and launchers enables quick exchanges of payloads and utilization of launch opportunities on short notice. PocketQube is similar to CubeSat in this regard.

The standard was first proposed by Professor Bob Twiggs of Morehead State University, and the intention was for a satellite which could fit in a pocket, hence the name PocketQube.

HistoryEdit

First proposed in 2009 as a solution to the increasing costs of CubeSat launches to low Earth orbit. 13 PocketQubes have reached orbit as of September 2021. An additional 6 PocketQubes were destroyed on launch on a Fossa Systems / Libre Space brokered launch on the Firefly Alpha launch vehicle, becoming the first pocketqubes to fail to make it into orbit.

WorkshopsEdit

The first US workshop was held at NASA Ames and at Cape Canaveral in April 2014. There was a three-year gap until the next PocketQube workshop was held at TU Delft in The Netherlands in March 2017. The third workshop took place also at TU Delft in March 2018, with 22 presentations and 70 attendees. This is now an annual event for the PocketQube development community.

LaunchedEdit

Listed in ascending order by launch date.

Name Type Organisation Mission Launch Date (UTC) Rocket COSPAR ID Status Broker Decay date
  Beakersat-1[a] 2.5p Morehead State University, Sonoma State University Teaching Tool 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr 2013-066X No longer in orbit GAUSS Decay: 2019-02-13[6]
  $50Sat (Eagle-2) 1.5p Amateur Group Amateur Mission 2013-066W No longer in orbit GAUSS Decay: 2018-05-18[7]
  QubeScout-S1 2.5p University of Maryland, Baltimore County Sensor/dynamic attitude experiments 2013-066AD In orbit GAUSS
  WREN 1p Stadoko UG Tech demo, Camera SSTV, 3 Axis Reaction Wheel and pp Thrusters 2013-066V In orbit GAUSS
  SMOG-P 1p Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary Measurement of the radio spectrum in the UHF TV band 2019-12-6,

08:18

Electron 2019-084J No longer in orbit Alba Orbital Decay: 2020-09-28[8]
  ATL-1 2p Advanced Technology of Laser Test a new thermal isolation material in space 2019-084G No longer in orbit Alba Orbital Decay: 2020-10-9[9]
  FossaSat-1 1p Fossa Systems LoRa Demonstration & Deployable solar panels. 2019-084F No longer in orbit Alba Orbital Decay: 2020-10-28[10]
  Noor 1a

(Unicorn-2b)

3p Stara Space Experimental 2019-084D No longer in orbit Alba Orbital Decay: 2020-12-29[11]
  Noor 1b

(Unicorn-2c)

3p Stara Space Experimental 2019-084E No longer in orbit Alba Orbital Decay: 2020-04-07[12]
  TRSI 1p ACME AtronOmatic, LLC (MyRadar) Amateur, testing novel receiver 2019-084H No longer in orbit Alba Orbital Decay: 2020-10-13[13]
  DIY-1 / ARDUIQUBE 1p DIYSATELLITE Technology Demonstrator 2021-3-22, 06:07:12 Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat 2021-022AH In orbit GAUSS
  STECCO 6p School of Aerospace Engineering of Sapienza University of Rome Laser Ranging 2021-022AG In orbit GAUSS
  SMOG-1 1p Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary Measurement of the radio spectrum in the UHF TV band 2012-022AJ In orbit GAUSS
  GENESIS N 1.5p AMSAT EA Technology Demonstrator 2021-9-3, 01:59 Firefly Alpha / SUV N/A Launch failure FOSSA System / Libre Space Foundation Decay (suborbital): 2021-9-3[b]
  GENESIS L 1.5p AMSAT EA Technology Demonstrator Launch failure
  QUBIK 1 1p Libre Space Foundation Technology Demonstrator Launch failure
  QUBIK 2 1p Libre Space Foundation Technology Demonstrator Launch failure
  FOSSASAT 1b 1p Fossa Systems LoRa Demonstration Launch failure
  FOSSASAT 2 2p Fossa Systems LoRa Demonstration Launch failure
List of Suborbital PocketQubes
Name Type Organisation Mission Launch Date (UTC) Rocket Outcome
  Astria 4p BCIT Satellite Launch Program Test structural feasibility at 30,000 feet for new design 2018-06-21[14] UBC Black Tusk[15] Launch failure[16]
  TQube 1p Amateur Group Insulation testing and recording of structural dynamics 2019-10-11, 18:37 Neutron Success
  MDQube SAT-1 prototype 1.25p Innova Space Technology demonstration 2021-06-11 Aventura I-e2 Success

In developmentEdit

Name Type Organisation Mission Launch Date (UTC) Rocket Broker Status Remarks
OzQube-1[permanent dead link] 1p Picosat Systems Earth Observation TBC TBC TBC In development Team Interview
Discovery 1a 1p Mini-Cubes, LLC Camera / Photo Sat TBC TBC TBC In development Windform XT based PocketQube testing of the shelf components for space use
Unicorn-1 2p Alba Orbital UG Tech Demonstrator Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated Satellite Webpage
UoMBSat1 1p University of Malta + University of Birmingham Technology Demonstrator + Ionospheric Sounder TBC TBC TBC In development ASTREA Website @ UoM

SERENE Website @ UoB

Delfi-PQ 3p Delft University of Technology Technology Demonstrator Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated Delfi Space; Originally planned to fly on the Vector-R launch vehicle.
Unicorn-2a 3p Alba Orbital UG Technology Demonstrator Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated Alba Orbital; Originally planned to fly on the Vector-R launch vehicle.
EASAT-2 1.5p AMSAT EA Amateur Mission Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated https://www.amsat-ea.org/proyectos/
SATLLA-2 2p Ariel University Testing a laser communication link Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated
APRS PocketQube 1p National Chiao-Tung University APRS PocketQube for Moving Objects Tracking TBC TBC TBC In development
Sanosat-1 1p AMSAT NEPAL / AMSAT EA Education February

2021

Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In Development http://www.myrepublica.com/news/21899/
UBO 1p Satellite Applications Catapult Outreach TBC TBC TBC In Development http://buildubo.co.uk/build/
Myansat-1 1p Independent Outreach TBC TBC TBC In Development https://web.archive.org/web/20190115020853/http://myansat.com/
TFTQube 1p The Flame Trench Amateur TBC TBC TBC In Development https://theflametrench.com/flagship/
TBC TBC University of Zacatecas STEM TBC TBC TBC In Development https://www.research"ate.net/project/Design-and-Implementation-of-a-PocketQube-system-for-educative-purposes
Grizu-263A 1p Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University Education Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated https://grizu263.beun.edu.tr/
LibertyQube-1 1p Liberty Life LLc Experimental TBC TBC TBC In Development https://www.libertylife-llc.com/
SatDuino 1p Technical School N° 5 of Mar Del Plata Education TBC TBC TBC In Development https://satduinot5t1.wixsite.com/satduino
BYqube-1 1p Brigham Young University Education Feb 2021 TBC TBC In Development
Pycubed-1 1p Stanford University Education TBD Alba Orbital In Development
Hades 1.5p AMSAT EA Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated https://www.amsat-ea.org/proyectos/
Trsi-2 1p Acme Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated
CMU PocketQube 1p Carnegie Mellon University TBD Alba Orbital In Development
DynOSSAT-EDU 1p BHDynamics TBC TBC TBC In Development
BerretaSat-1 1p Aerozono Space Technologies (Argentina) Earth Observation/ Technology Demonstrator TBC TBC TBC In Development
CSHARKPILOT-1 (FOSSASAT-2E) 2p Fossa Systems/CShark LoRa nodes February 2021 Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In

Development

LAIKA (FOSSASAT-2B) 2p Fossa Systems/Porkchop Propulsion February 2021 Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In

Development

Challenger 3p Mini-Cubes Space Development Observation and Communications February 2021 Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In

Development

TRSI-3 1p Acme STV imaging/downlink beacon February 2021 Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In

Development

Canary Hatchling 1p Care Weather Technologies Constellation Pathfinder February 2021 Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In

Development

FOSSASAT-2C 2p Fossa Systems LoRa IoT communications February 2021 Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In

Development

FOSSASAT-2D 2p Fossa Systems LoRa IoT communications February 2021 Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In

Development

FOSSASAT-2F 2p Fossa Systems LoRa IoT communications February 2021 Falcon 9 Fossa Systems In

Development

BeliefSat-1 2p K. J. Somaiya Institute of Engineering and Information Technology Educational mission demonstrating PocketQube technologies TBC TBC TBC In Development https://github.com/NewLeapKjsieit/BeliefSat
Unicorn-2D 3p Alba Orbital UG Earth observation Q2 2021 Falcon 9 Alba Orbital Cluster 3 Integrated http://www.albaorbital.com/integration
SMOG-2 3p Budapest University of Technology and Economics Radio spectrum measurement, technology demonstration TBC TBC TBC In development http://gnd.bme.hu/smog

PocketQube vs PocketQubEdit

The PocketQube standard originally started as PocketQub.[17] This was changed in 2012 by Professor Bob Twiggs of Morehead State University. The standard is now referred to as PocketQube.

LaunchEdit

As of December 2019, the only launch brokers capable of providing launch integration for PocketQube satellites are Fossa Systems, Libre Space Foundation, Alba Orbital and GAUSS Srl.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Also known as T-LogoQube, MagPocketQube, Eagle-1
  2. ^ Intended to reach orbit. Launch vehicle failed while under first stage flight on a suborbital trajectory.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Twiggs, Bob. "Making it small" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  2. ^ Alba Orbital
  3. ^ "Kickstarter". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Kickstarter, Wired UK". Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  5. ^ "AMSAT UK". Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Technical details for satellite BEAKERSAT 1". N2YO.com - Real Time Satellite Tracking and Predictions. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  7. ^ "SATVIEW - EAGLE 2 - Norad 39436U - Tracking satellites and Spacejunk in Real time". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  8. ^ "SMOG-P - NORAD 44832 - 3D Online Satellite Tracking". www.satflare.com. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  9. ^ "ATL-1 - NORAD 44830".
  10. ^ "FOSSASAT-1 - NORAD 44829 - 3D Online Satellite Tracking".
  11. ^ "NOOR 1A".
  12. ^ "NOOR 1B - NORAD 44828 - 3D Online Satellite Tracking". www.satflare.com. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  13. ^ "TRSI - NORAD 44831 - 3D Online Satellite Tracking".
  14. ^ "UBC Rocket BCIT launch".
  15. ^ "UBC Rocket".
  16. ^ "Black Tusk Launch".
  17. ^ "Standard". Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2013.

External linksEdit