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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801 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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Using non-radiation-hardened processors in lunar orbit …

Is it feasible to design a flight computer for a small CubeSat spacecraft destined for lunar orbit that is controlled exclusively by one or more non-radiation-hardened processors? What are the main ...
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Cubesats in lunar orbit and beyond - how does communication work?

Somewhere I read that there are serious plans to send a cubesat into lunar orbit. A few years ago, the ISS was also offering a launch opportunity for such a mission. I guess that it was actually ...
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Cubesat Launch Costs

What are tentative launch costs for 1U/3U cubesat on popular launchers? I checked up ISRO, SpaceX and others. Only RocketLab provides exact cost for cubesat as a piggy-back launch: \$77k / \$240k for ...
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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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Can a cubesat in orbit be operated like a R/C airplane in real time?

I was thinking about the answers and comments I got to this question (Can a cubesat be used to qualify parts in space?) and came across one that said satellites can't be fixed once launched into orbit ...
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How long does a CubeSat last?

If I were to launch a CubeSat, how long would it last before falling out of orbit and burning up in the atmosphere?
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How are remove before flight (RBF) pins made?

The CubeSat standard (CubeSat Design Specification Revision 13) requires that CubeSats have a remove before flight (RBF) pin that "shall cut all power to the satellite once it is inserted into the ...
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RTOS vs Linux against single event upsets

I am working on the on-board computer for a CubeSat. Our computer will be vulnerable to radiation, hence single event upsets, e.g. bit flips are likely to occur. Would a lighter, smaller OS like ...
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With current or near-future Cubesat propulsion technology, largest aphelion achievable?

Propulsion technology for cubesats and nanosatellites is in active development, but there are at least a few based on sound principles that are likely to be tested in the next few years. There are ...
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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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Barriers to launching a cubesat

Cubesats and femto-sats are a nice place for universities and small enterprises to set their sights on. There are a number of sources of hardware and software (some even available at reasonably low ...
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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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What can Halosat do that can't be done already?

The GIF included in the BGR article Watch the International Space Station poop out a tiny satellite that will search for (missing) matter which shows a 3U 6U cubesat ejected from the ISS. The article ...
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Are there any CubeSats that have been launched into Geostationary (GEO/GSO) or Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO)?

There is one mission by GSFC/NASA - Shields-1 to be launched into GTO. Apart from that I couldn't find any other mission to GTO/GEO. It would be of great help if there is any information on this.
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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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Flying Laptop? 2017-042G; 42831

The recent July 14, 2017 launch of KANOPUS-V-IK also brought along many other payloads, including some smaller satellites and a bunch of cubesats, and deployed them at different altitudes between ...
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Relationship between part dimensions and performance of ion electrospray thruster

I got the relationship between power, thrust and specific impulse for an ion electrospray thruster as follows: $$P/T= 1/2 \times g_o \times I_{\mathrm{sp}}$$ Where: $P$ = power required (in Watts), $...
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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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Has a cubesat in LEO determined its orbit and position using only terrestrial cameras plus the Sun? (no GPS, starcam, uplink, magnetic sensors, etc.)

From LEO, a cubesat with several reasonable cell phone-like cameras (or better) can image the Earth and it seems straightforward for some standard pattern recognition algorithms to find the sunlit ...