The QB50 mission for the investigation of the mid-lower thermosphere: Preliminary results and lessons learned

Davide Masutti*, Amandine Denis, Robert Wicks, Jan Thoemel, Dhiren Kataria, Alan Smith, Jean Muylaert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

CubeSats have emerged as powerful tools for a new class of space missions that is recognized by academia and the space industry, but they still strive to reach the same reliability of bigger satellites. CubeSats serves many objectives, they are mainly used to educate students through hands-on design and manufacturing experience. The QB50 project aimed to use the CubeSat concept to further facilitate access to space for future generations, to carry out novel science, to demonstrate new space technologies, and train young engineers. The project, coordinated by the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium, invited universities to contribute to the mission with their own CubeSats. After six years, the project is coming to a successful conclusion. This paper collects several years of experiences and lessons learned during the implementation of the project. This is a synthesis of the heritage accumulated by coordinating a number of CubeSats forming the first ever University built constellation. These lessons can be used not only as a reference for the implementation of future CubeSat constellations but also as a simple collection of guidelines for the design, testing and review of future CubeSat projects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication68th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2017
Subtitle of host publicationUnlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Pages5785-5796
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781510855373
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 25 Sep 201729 Sep 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Volume9
ISSN (Print)0074-1795

Conference

Conference68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017
CountryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period25/09/1729/09/17

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