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CubeSat Workshop


Since the advent of the CubeSat standard back in the early 2000s, the CubeSat world has dramatically evolved and developed not only technologically but also in terms of the number, type and size of the players actively involved worldwide, the diversity of missions being performed, as well as the flight envelope. 

CubeSats started as an educational initiative by universities to train engineering students and conduct research, but over time a whole eco-system of small and medium enterprises have been formed across the supply chain from CubeSat system integrators to off-the-shelf subsystem and component suppliers. The low entry level cost, ease of access to space, and high modularity via standard interfaces has stimulated a new and growing part of the space sector. This has enabled technology developers to rapidly prototype, leveraging COTS sensors and electronics, and to demonstrate their technologies in a short time frame for entry to market as proven products.

In turn, this has allowed several generations of CubeSats to evolve with rapidly increasing performance to a sufficient level where real operational missions can be executed for the benefit of end users. The size of CubeSats has also grown accordingly from initially 1U (=10x10x10cm) to 12U currently, where larger and more capable payloads can be accommodated. Their low cost, rapid production nature makes CubeSats particularly attractive for deployment in distributed systems, either in constellations for global coverage, swarm formations for creating synthetic apertures, or fleets for low-cost exploration of the solar system. 

Indeed, the first CubeSat to venture out beyond Earth orbit has recently been successful with the MarCO mission to Mars, and more lunar & interplanetary CubeSats are in development for launch in the coming years. Additionally, the first CubeSat-based constellations have been deployed and are currently operating in low Earth orbit, with ground and launch segments also evolving to serve the demand in terms of commercial ground station networks, rideshare launches and development of micro-launchers.

Given the success and popularity of the workshop during the previous years, a specific parallel workshop will again be dedicated to CubeSats.

Aims and Scope

The aims of the Workshop are:

  • to foster a dialogue between CubeSat actors (developers, end users) on the design, development, testing, production and in-flight experience of CubeSats and related activities (ground stations, launchers, ...).  
  • to provide a networking opportunity as well as a presentation platform for companies and organisations and to encourage the transfer of technology to and from space applications.  
  • to promote awareness that CubeSats can contribute to new space opportunities, as a single spacecraft, a constellation or in combination with larger space infrastructures.  

The areas listed below are expected to be the main scope of the CubeSat workshop.

  • CubeSat development & Flight Experiences (recent past or ongoing missions, lessons learned, engineering best practices)  
  • CubeSat technologies and products (e.g. new technologies in development, newly introduced commercially-available mechanical, electrical, radio, solar panel kits & deployers)  
  • Scientific Missions using CubeSat & associated Instrument developments
  • Technology Demonstration using CubeSats and improving the performance of CubeSat systems
  • CubeSat Ground Segment & Operations (e.g. commercial networks and their interfaces, new ground station technologies & operational methods/techniques/software)  
  • CubeSat Networks & Applications (e.g, distributed sensor networks such as Space weather & Earth observation constellations, distributed apertures enabled by swarm formations, and applications such as low-cost communications relay/asset tracking, disaster monitoring etc.)  
  • Planned CubeSat Missions to low Earth orbit and beyond (HEO, MEO, GEO, lunar, interplanetary etc)
  • Future Flight Opportunities for CubeSats (e.g. upcoming piggyback/rideshare launch opportunities, new micro-launchers and launch services for CubeSats)

Abstract Submission & Calendar of Events

Authors submitting an abstract for the CubeSat Workshop should follow the same instructions and deadlines as for the other sessions.