Alba Orbital Satellite
|Dimensions||5 × 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, 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, Fossa Systems and Alba Orbital. PocketQube projects have even been the subject of Kickstarter campaigns. The PocketQube format is also popular with amateur radio satellite builders.
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.
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. 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.
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.
|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
|Decay: 2018-05-18||Team Interview|
|QubeScout-S1||2.5p||University of Maryland, Baltimore County||TBC||2013-11-21, 07:11||Dnepr||TBC||Inactive|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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/|
|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
- Twiggs, Bob. "Making it small" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- GAUSS Srl
- Alba Orbital
- "Kickstarter". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Kickstarter, Wired UK". Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Kickstarter, Mail Online UK". 26 October 2013.
- "AMSAT UK". Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- 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.
- "$50SAT - Eagle2 - $50SAT - Eagle2". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- "SATVIEW - EAGLE 2 - Norad 39436U - Tracking satellites and Spacejunk in Real time". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- "QubeScout Press Release". Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Standard". Retrieved 7 September 2013.