Questions tagged [cubesat]

Type of satellite in the shape of a cube 10 cm on each side. Popular with academics and amateurs with a focus on off-the-shelf components.

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922 views

How can the two MarCO cubesats remain reliably close to InSight during their six month trip to Mars?

According to the NASA JPL web page Mars Cube One (MarCO) Mission Overview and the YouTube video MarCO: First Interplanetary CubeSat Mission linked there, after the Centaur upper stage deploys InSight, ...
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Did the NASA PhoneSat actually try to use the GPS from the phone itself?

I was reading this article about NASA's PhoneSat Flight Demonstrations and came across this sentence. "To achieve this, NASA's PhoneSat design makes extensive use of commercial-off-the-shelf ...
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What regulations, agreements, or other forces can help mitigate “PrankSats”? [closed]

comment: I've used a somewhat innocuous abstraction of 'pranks in space' below, but there's no end to the trouble that could be caused and the increasing ease with which a state (nation or otherwise) ...
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Will JAXA try again to launch TRICOM-1 with the “world's smallest orbital rocket” SS-520-4 again?

From the Spaceflight 101 article Experimental Launch of World’s Smallest Orbital Space Rocket ends in Failure: SS-520-4 lifted off from the Uchinoura Space Center in Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture at 8:...
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Cubesat mass density (kg/U) statistics?

The stuff of which COTS cubesats are made (aluminum, silicon, G10/FR-4, battery) has a density in the ballpark of 2 to 3 (g/cm^3) while vacuum is roughly 0. I'd always figured that cubesats built from ...
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How does the Satellite Networked Open Ground Station operate? How is it used?

SatNOGS, the Satellite Networked Open Ground Station (mentioned in this answer) appears to be a distribution of independently maintained amateur DIY satellite receiving ground stations, linked by a ...
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Why isn't there a rocket to launch a single cubesat?

I find the business model for RocketLab interesting. It is said that they fill a niche in the market by using smaller rockets. And it is true, in comparison to e.g. Falcon 9's payload of 9,500 kg, ...
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If there “won't be” rockets to launch individual cubesats, then why did JAXA build exactly that? (SS-520-xx)

The question Why isn't there a rocket to launch a single cubesat? has several good answers that explain why there isn't and/or will not likely be one, based mostly on commercial viability, consistent ...
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Current situation with CoCom regulations and GPS receivers for balloons and cubesats

I wanted to ask this at aviation SE because they are quite rules-and-regulations oriented there, but this question is not (really) about aviation. I'm trying to understand the current situation for ...
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What are the orbital mechanical consideration behind hand-launched nanosatellites from the ISS?

The NASA Spaceflight article Extended Russian EVA complete – conducts satellite deployments says: The first order of the day was for Ryazanskiy to head into the manual deployment of five ...
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MARS-CAT; What is a Cubesat Ambipolar Thruster and how does it work?

Trying to understand ion thrusters a little, I started looking at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_thruster#Propellants where I saw: The CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) used on the Mars Array of ...
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Are the cubesats deployed from the ISS always directed “nadir and retrograde”?

@Tristan's answer to What are the orbital mechanical consideration behind hand-launched nanosatellites from the ISS? includes: If you launch nadir and retrograde, you will put the object into a ...
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Is the Pi really fit for outer space?

Recently, there has been growing interest in using Raspberry Pis in CubeSats. NASA is even in on the trend. But, considering that outer space is pretty harsh on electronics (i.e. radiation and cosmic ...
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What are the prospects for comms with cubesats using “normal” internet connections?

Can a cubesat in orbit be operated like a R/C airplane in real time? edit: if the link here and the end aren't clear, I'm interested in the ease and convenience of access, the frequency of possible ...
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Mayak, a magnitude -10 (minus ten) satellite; how is the large, delicate reflector expanded?

The July 14, 2017 NASA Spaceflight article Soyuz 2-1A launches with Kanopus-V-IK and over 70 satellites says: Mayak is a three-unit CubeSat which was built by Tvoii Sektor Kosmosa – or “Your Sector ...
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Passive attitude stabilization with magnets - are there studies based on actual flight data?

Specifically with the small satellite and cubesat people, there is an rather 'old' idea around: Passive attitude stabilization based on permanent magnets. Schematic of the Earth magnetic field lines ...
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Could a cubesat be self propelled to the moon from LEO?

Is it possible with current technologies to propel a cubesat, which is launched from Earth, to the moon? If current propulsion systems are able to do so, how do I continue the research in this topic ...
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524 views

Could an articulated permanent magnet work as a low-power cubesat magnetotorquer? Problems?

Conventional magnetotorquers for cubesats are electromagnets that produce torque in the Earth's magnetic field, and nearly all of the power they use just heats the copper through $\text{I}^2 \text{R}$ ...
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Have there been any square 4U (2x2) cubesats?

How much did each MarCO 6U cubesat weigh? suggests that the density of a MarCO 6U cubesat might be as low as 0.75 g/cm^3 whereas I think they are usually about twice that. That led me to speculate ...
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What body of regulations (if any) would apply to a cubesat with an SDR on board?

For example: the FUNcube Dongle Pro+ is a USB Software Defined Radio receiver, or SDR. It provides a digitized 192kHz wide chunk of IF (intermediate frequency) via high speed USB interface. Generally ...
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What can be done in future mass-cubesat deploys to make them “less irksome” to orbital space debris experts?

In the first group of questions below the block quotes, I've illustrated situations where a large number of cubesats are deployed at one launch (56 an 104 satellites) and it seemed to take quite a ...
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Has any CubeSat flown with an active propulsion system?

CubeSats are small, but so are some propulsion systems (cold gas thrusters, for instance, really aren't too complex and can be low volume/mass). Has any CubeSat actually flown with its own propulsion ...
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Temperature of a satellite orbiting in low Earth orbit

I am working on a project for science fair that involves a deployable component that will not be heated on a CubeSat. I am trying to find data for the skin temperature of a satellite (or the ISS) over ...
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What is “OBJECT BS”?

I checked 2018-099 in Celestrak's satcat again for the question Where can I find the TLE of ExseedSat 1, India's first ever private LEO satellite? and noticed that ...
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Why put both Orbex and Rocket Labs on adjacent launch pads in Scotland?

update: There's some recent and potentially helpful information in NASA Spacefligh: UK Spaceport at Sutherland enters public consultation phase I've just read Jonathan Amos' article in the BBC News ...
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How serious a problem can outgassing of satellites be?

As I was reading the Cubesat standard, one of requirements is low outgassing "to prevent contamination of other spacecraft". It also gives a link to a NASA-approved list of low outgassing materials. ...
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What is the largest proper cubesat?

The sizes of Cubesats are measured in "U" units of volume. Each U is nominally a cube of something like 10 to 12 cm on a side, depending on the specific deploying mechanism it's approved for....
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help understanding this complicated structure that will deploy HySIS

This ISRO page for the HysYS spacecraft says: HysIS, the primary satellite of PSLV-C43 mission, weighing about 380 kg, is an earth observation satellite configured around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 (...
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Would a small electron microscope in a cubesat work well in space at 400 km?

There is now an electron microscope in space! Suppose that once I win a lottery I can build a small, modest SEM column and put it in a 6U cubesat that opens one side to allow the electron optics to ...
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Will the Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft's solar panels be articulated during each orbit?

The NYTimes article Review: ‘Bill Nye: Science Guy,’ a Portrait of a Fighter for Facts includes a link to the film's trailer on YouTube and a photo of Bill Nye with a model of a 3U cubesat attached to ...
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Are 1U cubesats sufficiently detectable to get at least minimally usefully predictive public TLEs, updated regularly?

Satellite radar cross-sections is a complex function of satellite structure, design, materials, instantaneous attitude, (radar) frequency, polarization, and if has moving parts, configuration, just to ...
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Are there any modern cubesats or smallsats that have relied only on magnetotorquers for attitude control?

This comment got me thinking... Question: Are there any modern cubesats or smallsats that have relied only on magnetotorquers for attitude control, sans reaction wheels or thrusters? Ideally an ...
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Attitude of the upcoming “Orbital Reflector”; will it result in good visibility?

There's a new (passive solar) orbital reflector, called the Orbital Reflector. While Mayak (Маяк) was a crowdfunded project at Moscow State Mechanical Engineering University and the Humanity Star ...
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Successful Linux-based Cubesat missions?

Has anyone had any experience with successful Linux-based flight computer on Cubesat missions? What Linux hardware was used and what problems did you encounter? I am contracted to write flight/ground ...
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How well could the tether tension method of attitude control actually ultimately work for a cubesat system?

The phys.org new item Image: Small satellite deployed from the Space Station shows the cubesat craft Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite (STARS-C) being deployed from the ISS. A satellite ...
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Rocket to launch 8 cubesat to LEO at an equidistant distance

I am working on a project, which consists of the launch of 8 cubesat 1U to LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and I started working on the launch part, the idea of ​​the project is to be as cheap as possible, the ...
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Are there cubesats in GEO?

This answer to the question How often do reaction wheels require desaturation, normally? says: One practical example I know of is for a 6U in GEO that is always sun pointed, there's a thruster ...
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Why would the future Nanoracks airlock be built so that it must be removed from the ISS to deploy cubesats?

I am sure there are a number of safety and engineering considerations, as well as future integration and flexibility to consider, but I can't think of any so far. When I think of an airlock, I think ...
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Raspberry Pis in Space?

I'm aware of the Astro Pi (1, 2, 3, 4) on board the ISS, but have there been any other instances of the RPi in space (Astro or not), for example in cubesats or other spacecraft which contain a ...
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Are cubesats deployed with fully discharged batteries? Even those on Sherpa?

I'm pretty sure that at least some large satellites are deployed with their batteries charged so that they can initialize themselves, get their own attitude and position, and possibly establish some ...
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How do cubesat owners first find out their cubesat's initial trajectory? How do they point antennas at it before official TLEs start to appear?

When cubesats are first deployed it can sometimes take several days before they start appearing in official TLE distributions, and even then if many were deployed it may take a lot more work to decide ...
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CubeSat Orbit Determination

I'm thinking about the feasibility of making a CubeSat to test the EM drive thruster. Assuming the microwave electronics and resonant cavity could be scaled down to CubeSat size (5 watts, let's say), ...
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Can cubesats be used to qualify parts for spaceflight more cheaply than ground testing?

I've been researching what drives the cost of spacecraft, to see why many spacecraft still use very antiquated electronics and power systems developed in the 1980's instead of up to date electronics ...
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MarCo, Polo? Any further news, or images, or transmissions from the MarCo deep space cubesats?

Edit: Two more months have gone by since I posted this question. Can there still be no news? Nothing for the two MarCo cubesats to take photos of; not even each other? While InSight is still "...
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Microwave drive for cubesats

Theory: how is this? I was doing a lot of research about the EmDrive thruster, i find 50% papers says that it work and other 50% saying that the "thrust" is a product of the interaction with ...
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How do phonesats stay cool?

To the question Can a smart phone function in space? this answer says Multiple android based phone satellites have been launched into space. (At least six according to Wikipedia). I haven't looked ...
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Why would photon pressure be needed to keep ParkinsonSAT Spinning?

This answer to Can a satellite work like a radiometer? says (in part): ...the US Naval Academy cubesat ParkinsonSAT was designed with four faces asymmetrical, with solar panels offset to one side ...
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Yet another OSIRIS! Has the DLR/GOM Space test of the cubesat optical communications link happened yet?

Speaking of "all things OSIRIS" I just ran across the OSIRIS optical communications system for cubesats and smallsats. OSIRIS (Optical Space Infrared Downlink System) highly compact optical ...
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X-Band range and data

In summary I am working on a network consisting of 8 cubesat 1U that will be at an orbit altitude of 850Km. The question is that I am working on communications, the idea is that this network of ...
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Use or tests of multimode optical fiber for cubesat battery charging or datalink while in storage, or waiting to launch?

the idea of POF or power over fiber is to couple a moderate amount of solid state laser light, say a few hundred milliWatts or even several Watts (or potentially more, but it gets more challenging), ...