PocketQube

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PocketQube
Camera PocketQube Shop Render.jpg
Alba Orbital Satellite
Mass250g
Dimensions5 × 5 × 5 cm

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 GAUSS Srl[2], Fossa Systems and Alba Orbital.[3] PocketQube projects have even been the subject of Kickstarter campaigns.[4][5][6] The PocketQube format is also popular with amateur radio satellite builders.[7]

Design[edit]

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[edit]

First proposed in 2009 as a solution to the increasing costs of CubeSat launches to low Earth orbit, the first 4 PocketQube Satellites were launched on 21 November 2013 onboard their mothership Unisat-5.[8] The next expected launch will be on Vector-R, Alba Cluster 1 in early 2019. The largest so far is a 2.5P PocketQube called T-Logoqube[9].

Workshops[edit]

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[edit]

Name Picture Type Organisation Mission Launch Date (UTC) Rocket COSPAR ID Status Decay date Remarks
T-LogoQube (Beakersat-1, MagPocketQube, Eagle-1) 2.5P Morehead State University, Sonoma State University Teaching Tool 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr TBC Inactive
$50Sat (Eagle-2) 1.5p Amateur Group Amateur Mission 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr TBC Decayed

Contact lost: 2015-07-19[10]

Decay: 2018-05-18[11] Team Interview
QubeScout-S1 2.5p University of Maryland, Baltimore County TBC 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr TBC Inactive[12]
WREN 1p Stadoko UG Tech demo, Camera SSTV, 3 Axis Reaction Wheel and pp Thrusters 2013-11-21, 07:11 Dnepr TBC Inactive Team Interview

In development[edit]

Name Picture Type Organisation Mission Launch Date (UTC) Rocket Broker Status Remarks
OzQube-1 1p Picosat Systems Earth Observation TBC TBC TBC In development Team Interview
Arduiqube 1p DIYSATELLITE Technology Demonstrator Q4 2019 Soyuz GAUSS Team Interview

www.diysatellite.com/arduiqube.html

SMOG-1 1p Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary Measurement of the radio spectrum in the UHF TV band Q4 2019 Soyuz GAUSS In development
ArduOrbiter-1 1p Reid Technologies TBC TBC TBC N/A https://www.reidtech.global/
Discovery 1a 1p Beyond Earth Camera / Photo Sat TBC TBC Alba Orbital Cluster 2 In development Company Website
Unicorn-1 2p Alba Orbital LEO > GEO Relay Demonstrator Q4 2019 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 H2 2018 Vector-R Alba Orbital Cluster 1 In development Delfi Space
Unicorn-2a 3p Alba Orbital Technology Demonstrator H2 2018 Vector-R Alba Orbital Cluster 1 In development Alba Orbital
ATL-1 2p Advanced Technology of Laser Test a new thermal isolation material in space TBC TBC Alba Orbital Cluster 2 In development ATL 1 Website
EASAT-2 2p Amsat EA Amateur Mission TBC TBC TBC In development https://www.amsat-ea.org/easat-2/
Astria 1p British Columbia Institute of Technology - Satellite Launch Program test structural feasibility at 30,000 feet for new design June 2018 University of British Columbia's Second Rocket (under production) TBC In development
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
TRSI 1p Tristar & Red Sector Inc. Amateur, testing novel receiver TBC TBC Alba Orbital Cluster 2 In Development http://www.pocketqub.de/
Nepal-PQ1 1p ORION Space Education TBC TBC TBC In Development http://www.myrepublica.com/news/21899/
SMOG-P 1p BME Spectrum Monitoring TBC TBC Alba Orbital Cluster 2 In Development
TBA 1p Croatian Makers STEM TBC TBC Alba Orbital Cluster 2 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 http://myansat.com/
TFTQube 1p The Flame Trench Amateur TBC TBC TBC In Development https://theflametrench.com/flagship/
FossaSat-1 1p Fossa Systems LoRa Demonstration & Deployable solar panels. Q2 2019 TBC Alba Orbital Cluster 2 In Development https://Fossa.systems
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 TBC In Development https://x.grizu-263.space/
Unicorn-2b 3p [TBA] Experimental Mid 19 TBC TBC In Development https://www.albaorbital.com
Unicorn-2c 3p [TBA] Experimental Mid 19 TBC TBC In Development https://www.albaorbital.com

PocketQube vs PocketQub[edit]

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[edit]

As of December of 2019, the only launch brokers capable of providing launch integration for pocketqube satellites are Alba Orbital and GAUSS Srl.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Twiggs, Bob. "Making it small" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  2. ^ GAUSS Srl
  3. ^ Alba Orbital
  4. ^ "Kickstarter". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Kickstarter, Wired UK". Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Kickstarter, Mail Online UK". 26 October 2013.
  7. ^ "AMSAT UK". Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  8. ^ Unisat-5
  9. ^ Zack, Kevin, J. Garrett Jernigan, and Lynn Cominsky. "The Development of a 3P PocketQube.", Bulletin of the American Physical Society 58 (2013). Retrieved on 27 February 2014.
  10. ^ "$50SAT - Eagle2 - $50SAT - Eagle2". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  11. ^ "SATVIEW - EAGLE 2 - Norad 39436U - Tracking satellites and Spacejunk in Real time". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  12. ^ "QubeScout Press Release". Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Standard". Retrieved 7 September 2013.

External links[edit]