PocketQube

Summary

PocketQube
Camera PocketQube Shop Render.jpg
Alba Orbital Satellite
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass250g
Dimensions5 × 5 × 5 cm (1p)
 

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.

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]

Design

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.

History

First proposed in 2009 as a solution to the increasing costs of CubeSat launches to low Earth orbit. There have been 11 PocketQubes launched as of end of 2019.

Workshops

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 on March 2018, with 22 presentations and 70 attendees. This is now an annual event for the PocketQube development community.

Launched

Listed in ascending order by launch date.

Name Type Organisation Mission Launch Date (UTC) Rocket COSPAR ID Status Broker Decay date Launch

Number

T-LogoQube (Beakersat-1, MagPocketQube, Eagle-1) 2.5P Morehead State University, Sonoma State University Teaching Tool 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr 2013-066X Success

No longer in Orbit

GAUSS Decay: 2019-02-13[6] 1
$50Sat (Eagle-2) 1.5p Amateur Group Amateur Mission 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr 2013-066W Success

Contact lost: 2015-07-19[7]

GAUSS Decay: 2018-05-18[8]
QubeScout-S1 2.5p University of Maryland, Baltimore County Sensor/dynamic attitude experiments 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr 2013-066AD In orbit

Inactive[9]

GAUSS
WREN 1p Stadoko UG Tech demo, Camera SSTV, 3 Axis Reaction Wheel and pp Thrusters 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr 2013-066V In orbit

Inactive, N/C[10]

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 In orbit / Active Alba Orbital 2
ATL-1 2p Advanced Technology of Laser Test a new thermal isolation material in space 2019-12-6

08:18

Electron 2019-084H In orbit / Active Alba Orbital
FossaSat-1 1p Fossa Systems LoRa Demonstration & Deployable solar panels. 2019-12-6

08:18

Electron 2019-084F In orbit / Active Alba Orbital
Noor 1a

(Unicorn-2b)

3p Stara Space Experimental 2019-12-6

08:18

Electron 2019-084D In orbit

Unconfirmed

Alba Orbital
Noor 1b

(Unicorn-2c)

3p Stara Space Experimental 2019-12-6

08:18

Electron 2019-084E Success

No longer in Orbit[11]

Alba Orbital Decay: 2020-04-07[12]
TRSI 1p ACME AtronOmatic, LLC (MyRadar) Amateur, testing novel receiver 2019-12-6

08:18

Electron 2019-084G In orbit

Unconfirmed

Alba Orbital
List of Suborbital PocketQubes
Name Type Organisation Mission Launch Date (UTC) Rocket Status/Outcome Launch Number
TQube 1p Amateur Group Insulation testing and recording of structural dynamics 2019-10-11 18:37 Neutron Success 1

In development

Name Picture 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
ARDUIQUBE/DIY-1 1p DIYSATELLITE

Argentina

Technology Demonstrator Q3 2020 Soyuz GAUSS In development Team Interview

www.diysatellite.com/arduiqube.html

ArduOrbiter-1 1p Reid Technologies TBC TBC TBC N/A https://www.reidtech.global/
Discovery 1a 1p Mini-Cubes, LLC Camera / Photo Sat TBC Electron Alba Orbital In development Windform XT based PocketQube testing of the shelf components for space use
Unicorn-1 2p Alba Orbital LEO > GEO Relay Demonstrator Q3 2020 Soyuz GAUSS In development 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 TBC Vector-R Alba Orbital Cluster 1 In development Delfi Space; due to financial problems with Vector Launch, the launch of this satellite is uncertain.
Unicorn-2a 3p Alba Orbital Technology Demonstrator TBC Vector-R Alba Orbital Cluster 1 In development Alba Orbital; due to financial problems with Vector Launch, the launch of this satellite is uncertain.
EASAT-2 2p Amsat EA Amateur Mission TBC TBC TBC In development https://web.archive.org/web/20180515183712/https://www.amsat-ea.org/easat-2/
SATLLA 2p Ariel University Testing a laser communication link TBC TBC TBC In development
APRS PocketQube 1p National Chiao-Tung University APRS PocketQube for Moving Objects Tracking TBC TBC TBC In development
Nepal-PQ1 1p ORION Space Education TBC TBC TBC In Development http://www.myrepublica.com/news/21899/
TBA 1p Croatian Makers STEM TBC TBC Alba Orbital Cluster 3 In Development http://croatianmakers.hr/hr/project/prvi-hrvatski-satelit/
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.researchgate.net/project/Design-and-Implementation-of-a-PocketQube-system-for-educative-purposes
grizuSAT (Project X) 1p Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University Education Mid 2020 TBC Alba Orbital Cluster 3 In Development https://x.grizu-263.space/
LibertyQube-1 1p Liberty Life LLc Experimental Mid 20 TBC Alba Cluster 3 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
GENESIS N/L 2p AMSAT-EA Amateur Mid 2020 Firefly Alpha PicoBus 1 FOSSA / LIBRESPACE In Development
QUBIK 1/2 1p Libre Space Foundation Education Mid 2020 Firefly Alpha PicoBus 1 FOSSA / LIBRESPACE In Development
FOSSASAT-1B 1P Fossa Systems IoT Comms Mid 2020 Firefly Alpha PicoBus 1 FOSSA / LIBRESPACE In Development https://fossa.systems
FOSSASAT-2 2p Fossa Systems IoT Comms / ADCS / EO Mid 2020 Firefly Alpha PicoBus 1 FOSSA / LIBRESPACE In Development https://fossa.systems
BYqube-1 1p Brigham Young University Education Feb 2021 TBC TBC In Development
Pycubed-1 1p Stanford University Education Late 2020 Tbc Alba Cluster 3 In Development
Hades 1.5p Amsat-ea Late 2020 Tbc Alba Cluster 3 In Development
Trsi-2 1p Acme Late 2020 Tbc Alba Cluster 3 In Development
Suborbital PocketQube's In Development
Name Type Picture Organisation Mission Launch Date (UTC) Rocket Status Remarks
Astria 1p British Columbia Institute of Technology Test structural feasibility at

30,000 feet for new design

TBC University of British Columbia's

Second Rocket (under production)

In

Development

PocketQube vs PocketQub

The PocketQube standard originally started as PocketQub.[13] This was changed in 2012 by Professor Bob Twiggs of Morehead State University. The standard is now referred to as PocketQube.

Launch

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

See also

References

  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. ^ "$50SAT - Eagle2 - $50SAT - Eagle2". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  8. ^ "SATVIEW - EAGLE 2 - Norad 39436U - Tracking satellites and Spacejunk in Real time". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  9. ^ "QubeScout Press Release". Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Wren". AMSAT-UK. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  11. ^ http://www.albaorbital.com/new-blog/2020/4/10/unicorn-2c-noor-1b-success-on-orbit
  12. ^ "NOOR 1B - NORAD 44828 - 3D Online Satellite Tracking". www.satflare.com. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  13. ^ "Standard". Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2013.

External links

  • NASA Article on PocketQubes
  • Pocketqube Builders
  • PocketQube Developer Resources