Condititions and Potential Applications for PocketQubes

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PocketQubes are a new form factor of highly miniaturized satellites with a body of one or more cubic units of 5 cm. The characteristics of PocketQubes in terms or legal and regulatory aspects, the technological readiness levels and financial considerations are assessed. In particular, an analysis of orbital decay characteristics has been carried out which together with existing space law suggest that PocketQubes should preferably be launched in very low Earth orbits below 500 km altitude. To make PocketQubes attractive platforms, not only the launch cost, but also the development, production and operations cost should be significantly lower than CubeSats . Due to technical constraints, such as form factor, power and attitude control, the domain of applications is, especially for single PocketQube mission constrained. Still, they can act as low cost training or technology demonstration platforms. When launched in high numbers, networks of PocketQubes can enable new applications for Earth observation and niche communication services. Applications considered feasible are in the field of (but not limited to) continuous surveillance using optical instruments, gravity field monitoring using precise orbit determination, in-situ measurements of the space environment and low data rate or bandwidth communication services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Small Satellites, System & Services Symposium (4S)
Subtitle of host publicationSorrento, Italy, 2018
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event4S 2018: Small Satellites, System & Services Symposium - Sorrento, Italy
Duration: 28 May 20181 Jun 2018


Conference4S 2018: Small Satellites, System & Services Symposium
Abbreviated title4S 2018
Internet address

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