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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25
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2answers
12k views

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 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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4answers
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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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3answers
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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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5answers
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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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3answers
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How do these cubesats' whip antennas work?

This answer has identified the three 1U cubesats shown in the question, and links to Engineers Rule's Maya-1: The Philippines’ First CubeSat along with the video Animation of MAYA-1, The Philippines' ...
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3answers
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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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3answers
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Why do we need dedicated launch vehicles for small satellites?

The Wikipedia webpage on Small-lift launch vehicle gives a huge list of dedicated launch vehicles with a maximum payload capacity of 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) for small satellites, which are either retired,...
13
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1answer
390 views

Primary payload influence on hitchhiking CubeSat integration and testing?

Integration is the process of assembling or otherwise combining the separate subsystems into your final overall system. Testing involves making sure your components, subsystems, and overall system ...
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2answers
2k views

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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3answers
782 views

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 ...
12
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1answer
1k views

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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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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4answers
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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 ...
11
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1answer
709 views

How to test the impact of radiation on cubesat's electronics?

Is there a difference between the effect of different ionizing wavelengths on electronics? Can a medical accelerator be used for simulation of conditions a cubesat will be exposed to? If not what ...
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5answers
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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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3answers
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How is the ISS helpful for launching cubesats and minisats?

The ISS space station orbits at an inclination of about 50 degrees. That's in between polar orbit, which would be useful for Earth observations, and the ecliptic which would be useful for synchronous ...
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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 ...
9
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2answers
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By what methods can cubesats move from LEO to higher orbits?

If a cubesat is launched as secondary payload to LEO, what ways are there to put it in a higher orbit, for example outside of the van Allen belt to make a radiation experiment? The ISS launches ...
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4answers
2k views

Documentation and testing for a CubeSat launch?

If I had a CubeSat sitting on my desk ready to go today, what documentation and testing would I need to do before I could get it launched? Presumably the launch provider won’t just launch anything I ...
9
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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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Standard communications protocol for cubesats

Is there a well-accepted standard protocol for communicating between a cubesat and ground station? On what basis would I choose the protocol?
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5answers
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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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1answer
606 views

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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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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3answers
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CubeSat Design Requirements and Safety Restrictions?

I was reading XKCD, and came across this beautifully designed CubeSat: It is dubbed SafetySat: "During launch, in the event of an unexpected sensor reading, SafetySat will extend prongs in all ...
8
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1answer
835 views

How are remove before flight pin mechanisms realized in satellites?

According to the cubesat design specification electrical requirements (3.3.7 in revision 13) a Cubesat shall include an RBF pin: 3.3.7 The CubeSat shall include an RBF pin. 3.3.7.1 The RBF ...
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4answers
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Why aren't solar collectors in space solar power concepts placed closer to the sun?

I've been thinking about space solar power for quite some time, as to how it could be more profitable than ground based solar power. From all the concepts that I have seen the main problem I always ...
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2answers
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Could a cubesat propel itself to Mars?

I wrote the answer below to the question Could a cubesat be propelled to the moon? before realizing that it said Moon and I'd written it for Mars, so I've cloned that question and moved the answer ...
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1answer
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Reaction Wheels vs. Momentum wheels

I'm getting a bit confused on the difference between reaction wheels and momentum wheels. One of our objectives call for 3 momentum wheels for attitude control, with spin-up, spin-down, and reverse ...
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3answers
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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 ...
7
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1answer
573 views

How are cubesat electronics protected against the effects of radiation in LEO?

I'm curious to know the various ways that cubesat electronics can be protected from the effects of cosmic rays or solar events while in LEO. How different are the components used in cubesats from some ...
7
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1answer
477 views

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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1answer
109 views

How strict are dispenser integrators when a CubeSat requirement is not met?

I'm working on designing a CubeSat component which does not comply with all of the requirements in the latest CubeSat Design Specification (CDS), namely: "The ends of the rails on the +/- Z face ...
7
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1answer
232 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
341 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
606 views

How was the airlock for the ISS' minisat launchers installed?

I assume that the crew in ISS can manipulate the minisats manually before they are launched, so they must be launched through some kind of airlock. Was this airlock designed for this purpose, or do ...
6
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1answer
459 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 $\text{I}^2 \text{R}$ ...
6
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1answer
236 views

Cubesat communication services

Is there any known web-based API services that provide downlink/uplink testing facilities to some Cubesat? I don't want to have full hardware setup: antenna, sdr, auxiliary equipment. In same time, ...
6
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2answers
975 views

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), ...
6
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1answer
239 views

Cubesat dispenser operation for fleet deployment

What is the working concept for dispersal of a constellation of cubesats launched together? I understand that for the Flock satellites to be useful in providing frequent Earth observation revisit ...
6
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1answer
207 views

Info on NASA's NOS3 software and the rest of the suite used by STF-1

THE STF-1 cubesat project, in cooperation with NASA, has developed a whole suite of simulation software for small satellites. Info here: http://stf1.com/simulation.php And here: https://www.nasa....
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1answer
337 views

What stole the INSPIRE cubesat launch opportunity, and will there be another?

Doing research for this answer about interplanetary cubesats, I watched the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory YouTube channel video CubeSats (live public talk) of a talk by Dr. Andrew Klesh, Chief ...
6
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1answer
290 views

Cypress PSOC chips in a Cubesat

The Cypress PSoC line of microcontrollers, especially the PSOC 4 family are very versatile and capable, and seem a natural for use in cubesats. Unfortunately, at least one experiment: http://www.dtic....
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0answers
245 views

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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0answers
122 views

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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2answers
877 views

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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2answers
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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 ...
5
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1answer
548 views

How was/Was Kalam-sat Recovered from the Ocean?

I was reading this article about Kalam-SAT and it states that: "Kalamsat fell into the sea. It will be recovered and NASA will be sending it back to us for decoding the data," [Srimathy Kesan, ...