|CPOD||LEO||2016||Docking with 3U nanosatellites. Will demonstrate precision flying around each other and then docking. Will enable to explore asteroids, moons and to inspect other spacecraft.|
|INSPIRE||Earth escape||2017||Goal of two 3U INSPIRE spacecraft is to open deep space to CubeSats and demonstrate necessary functions like telecommunication and navigation. Will be the first interplanetary and deep space CubeSat.|
|Mars Cube One (MarCO)||Mars flyby||2018||MarCO two 6U deep space CubeSats were planned to be launched in 2016, but delayed due to InSight Mars lander. They will flyby Mars during the landing of InSight and relay status in real time, which is not possible today.|
|NEA Scout||Asteroid flyby||2018||13 6U CubeSats will launch with a new NASA SLS rocket in 2018 sending Orion capsule on a trip around the Moon. Will be the first CubeSat to reach an asteroid and map it using an ~80 m2 solar sail for propulsion.|
|Lunar Flashlight||Moon||2018||The first CubeSat to reach the Moon and the first mission to use lasers to look for water ice. Near infrared lasers will shine light into the shaded polar regions, while the on-board spectrometer measures surface reflection and composition.|
|AIM/AIDA CubeSats||Didymos, asteroid||2020||European Space Agency (ESA) Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) spacecraft to Didymos will include two 3U CubeSats that will be selected from ASPECT, AGEX, PALS, CUBATA or DUSTCUBE CubeSat studies.|
|SWIMSat||GEO||2021||6U CubeSat to monitor solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and monitor Earth meteor impacts. Might be the first CubeSat to geostationary (GEO) orbit, but too early to know for sure.|
|DARCSIDE||Europa, Jupiter moon||2025||3U CubeSat flying with Europa Clipper spacecraft to study Europa's atmosphere. Experiments are planned to be drag measurement and high energy particle detector.|
|Planet||179 / 150+||2013||3U||Earth observation||$183 million|
|Spire||17 / 50+||2013||3U||AIS / Weather||$69.5 million|
|Planetary Resources||2 / 10||2014||12U||Earth observation||$21.1+ million|
|Astro Digital (Aquila Space)||2 / 10+20||2014||6U & 16U||Earth observation||?|
|Hera Systems||0 / 9-48||2016||12U||Earth observation||$4.2+ million|
|Sky and Space Global||0 / 200||2017||3U||IoT / M2M / Voice||$4.5 million|
|Kepler Communications||0 / 50||2017||3U||IoT / M2M||$5 million|
|Fleet Space||0 / 100||2017||12U||IoT / M2M||?|
|Astrocast||0 / 100+||2017||3U||IoT / M2M||?|
|Helios Wire||0 / 30||2018||16U||IoT / M2M||$1 million|
|Harris||0 / 12||2019||6U||Weather||?|
|Blink Astro||0 / ?||?||3U||IoT / M2M||?|
|4skies||0 / ?||?||12U||IoT / M2M||?|
|Magnitude Space||0 / ?||?||?||IoT / M2M||?|
|Terran Orbital||0 / ?||?||?||IoT / M2M||?|
|SkyFi||0 / 60||?||3U||Internet /
Complimentary reading is the NASA Small Spacecraft Technology State of the Art report.
|Communications||Planet||120+ Mbit/s to 5 m ground station in X band with patch antenna.|
|NASA||Mars Cube One (MarCO) reflectarray capable of 8 Kbit/s from Mars in X-band. Three 33.3 cm x 19.9 cm panels achieve >28 dB gain at 8.4 GHz.|
|NASA||KaPDA parabolic deployable Ka-band antenna with 0.5 m diameter, 1.5U stowed size, 1.2 kg mass and 42.5 dB gain.|
|NASA||Iris V2 Transponder. Parameters include 0.5U, 1.2 kg and interoperability with Deep Space Network (DSN) at X-band.|
| Astro Digital
|40 Mbit/s in 26.8 GHz Ka-band with patch antenna on Perseus-M 6U CubeSats. Module is about 1U and 1 kg.|
|Aerospace||1.5U AeroCube-7 (OCSD) will do optical communications with data rates up to 622 Mbps using 80 cm ground station.|
|Syrlinks||EWC27 X Band transmitter. Up to 100 Mbps. Up to 13.3 GB per pass can be downloaded on a 5 m station or 5.8 GB with a 3,4 m station.|
|Power||Planet||3+3 3U deployable solar panels|
|MMA Design||HaWK steerable 3 × 3U solar arrays capable of tracking Sun and 36W peak power. Might use Honeybee SADA drive actuator.|
|NASA||ISARA has solar cells opposite the reflectarray. 3 × 3U panels achieve 33 dB of gain at 26 GHz and data rates about 100 Mbps.|
|Compact Satellite Bus||Planet||Bus is a wrap-around design of about 0.25U - 0.5U total volume. Includes star camera, GPS, 4 reaction wheels.|
|Tyvak||Intrepid platform avionics, power system, communication, and payload interface are all hosted in a 9 cm × 9 cm × 3 cm package.|
|Propulsion||NASA||Solar sail with an area of ~86 m2 that fits into 2U and has 2.5 kg mass.|
|Busek||BIT-3 propulsion sized 2.5U includes 1.5 kg solid iodine propellant and will provide 6U CubeSat up to 3 km/s of delta-V.|
|Phase Four||CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) sized 4U could provide 8 km/s of delta-V for 6 kg dry mass satellite consuming 2.56 kg of water.|
Good overview of CubeSat instruments and technology progress by Anthony Freeman from 2016.
|Technology||Example applications||Organization or instrument||Description||Image|
|Visible and near-IR cameras||Determine asteroid’s shape, rotational properties, spectral class, local dust and debris field, regional morphology and regolith properties.||Planet Scope PS2||Planet Scope (PS2) is a 5 element optical system with 29 MP detector capable of taking images with 3.7 m ground resolution and swath of 24.6 km × 16.4 km from 475 km altitude.|
|Hera Systems||1-meter resolution imaging satellite is built on a 12U cubesat, 22-kilogram form factor.|
|Astro Digital (Aquila)||6U has 22 m resolution in RGB and NIR. 16U has 2.5 m resolution in RGB, red edge, and NIR using one 70 MP sensor and butcher block filter.|
|Malin Space Systems||ECAM C-50 imager uses the Aptina MT9P031 sensor certified for deep space. 5 Megapixel (2592 x 1944) CMOS.|
|Microwave radars||Precipitation profiling||NASA KaPDA Ka-band antenna||KaPDA parabolic deployable Ka-band antenna with 0.5 m diameter, 1.5U stowed size, 1.2 kg mass and 42.5 dB gain.|
|Infrared imagers||Characterize volatiles and minerals.
Measure temperature and water vapor in the lower troposphere.
Night-imaging, temperature mapping.
|NASA BIRCHES||1.5U in volume, 2.5 kg, 5 W. Sufficient spectral resolution (5 nm) to characterize and distinguish volatiles (water, H2S etc) and mineral (silicate, oxides etc) bands. Compact micro-crycooler to maintain spectrometer below 140 K and within 1 K.|
|Thoth Argus 1000||Infrared Range: 1000 nm - 1700 nm. Spectral resolution: 6nm. Aperture: 15 mm. Field of view: 0.15°. Envelope: 45 mm x 50 mm x 80 mm. Mass: less than 230 g|
|MWIR Grating Spectrometer (CIRAS)||Spatial: 13.5 x 0.32 km, Field of View (+/- 7.7°, 165 km), Spectral: 4.8-5.1 μm, 625 Channels. HOT-BIRD Detectors provide comparable performance as HgCdTe at a significantly reduced cost.|
|Planetary Resources||Midwave infrared imager (MWIR) in 3-5 μm with 15 m ground resolution.|
Material detection, crop identification
|Harris Cubesat Fourier Transform Spectrometer (CubeSat-FTS)||4cm aperture, MWIR band only (5.7-8.3 um). Cooled to ~120K using an AVHRR-based passive cooler. Hundreds of hyperspectral bands.|
|Planetary Resources||Visible-NIR 40 channel hyperspectral imager with 10 m resolution.|
|Neutron spectrometers||Map hydrogen (and water) abundances||NASA Mini-NS (Neutron Spectrometer)||2.5U detector using Cs2YLiCl6:Ce (CLYC) scintillator material to detect epithermal neutrons at spatial scales below 10 km.|
|X-ray spectrometers||Chemical composition||Amptek X-123SDD||7 x 10 x 2.5 cm, 180 g, 2.5 Watts, solar SXR spectral measurements in the 0.5-30 keV range (0.04-2.5 nm) with 0.15 keV energy resolution.|
Work in progress. Have much to add.
|Communications||Tethers Unlimited||Structureless Antenna. Under funding from DARPA's Tactical Technology Office, TUI has developed a revolutionary technology that will enable small spacecraft, such as nanosatellites and picosatellites, to deploy and utilize very large antenna apertures with exceptionally low mass requirements. This technology will enable new capabilities for small, low-power nanosatellites such as transmission of real-time video from GEO.|
|Deployable optics / collapsible telescopes||NASA Ames||Collapsible Space Telescope for 6U CubeSat. Primary mirror diameter is 152.6 mm (6 inches). Fits into 13.8 cm × 20.3 cm × 7 cm.|
|UK Astronomy Technology Centre||Estimated resolution from 300 km altitude is about 0.5 m per pixel with a 3U CubeSat. Volume of the folded system is 1.5U.|
|Utah State University||Ground sampling distance is 1.3 m. The rectangular full field of view is 0.7° by 0.5° giving a ground coverage of 6.1 km by 4.6 km from a 500 km altitude with a 3U CubeSat. Fits within a 2.5U volume, but estimated length can be reduced to 175 mm.|
Work in progress. Have much to add.
|Provider||Number launched||First launch||Cost|
|Terran Orbital / Tyvak||121+ (40+ planned)||2003||?|
|ISIS (Innovative Solutions In Space)||75+||2009||$210,000 - 270,000 for 3U LEO|
|NASA CSLI and ELaNa||46+ (120 selected)||2011||Free|
|ESA Fly your Satellite!||10||2012||Free|
|JAMSS / JAXA||10+||2012||?|
|Nanoracks||80+||2012||$85,000 for 1U|
|Spaceflight||77+||2013|| $295,000 for 3U LEO
$545,000 for 6U LEO
$995,000 for 12U LEO
GTO and Lunar also listed.
|ULA (United Launch Alliance)||0||2017||Free|
|Rocket Lab||0 (722 booked until middle 2019)||2017|| $70,000 - 80,000 for 1U LEO
$200,000 - 250,000 for 3U LEO
|Virgin Galactic LauncherOne||0||2017||?|
|KiboCUBE (UNOOSA, JAXA)||0||2018||Free|
Best overview of small satellite launchers by Carlos Niederstrasser and Warren Frick of Orbital ATK at IAC 2016 posted on Parabolic Arc.
There are many more commercial providers and special limited (free) launch opportunities and competitions.
For example with SLS towards Moon through Cube Quest and with ESA AIM to Didymos asteroid.
Most nanosatellites from Japan, India, China and Russia are launched by their space agencies.
PW-Sat2 Preliminary Requirements Review includes a table about 2U launch offers from 2014.
active / planned
|Leaf Space||0 / 20||Coming in 2017||VHF, UHF, S, X|| 5€/Mbyte for receiving UHV/VHF. 0.4€/Mbyte to receive S band.
0.1€/Mbyte to receive X band.
|Audacy||0 / ?||Planned for 2019||?||?||$2 million|
|RBC Signals||? / 16||In private Beta||UHF, S, X, Ka||?||Yes, amount unknown|
|Spaceflight Networks||18-26 / ?||Operational||UHF, S, X||$1.95/min for UHF.
$19.95/min for S/X band.
|Kongsberg KSAT Light||22 / 22||Operational||VHF, UHF, S, X, Ka||250€/pass ?||?|
|SSC Infinity||? / ?||Operational||?||?||?|
|SatNOGS||6 / ?||Operational||VHF, UHF||Free||?|
|CAT Thruster||University of Michigan||$67,865||$200,000||2013||Kickstarter|
|Ex-Alta 1||University of Alberta||$36,681||$30,000||2014||Useed|
|UW Race to Moon||University of Washington||$16,541||$50,000||2015||Useed@UW|
|LightSail||The Planetary Society||$1,241,615||$200,000||2015||Kickstarter|
|Mayak||Moscow State University||$3,157||$45,000||2015||Kickstarter|
|CubeSat 4 Disclosure||-||
|KitCube Lunar Orbiter||MIT||$124,125||$100,000||2016||Crowdfund MIT|
|HyperQube||Weebill Space Systems||$1,712||$230,000||2016||Kickstarter|
|Cislunar Explorers||Cornell University||$2,497 (running)||$50,000||2016||Kickstarter|
|SPOC Sat||University of Georgia||$5,377||$25,000||2016||GeorgiaFunder|
Database includes and term nanosatellite implies them all:
Database does not include (usually):
Major update is reviewing at least the following sources:
This database began during the European Commission FP7 NANOSAT project in 2013 - 2014. NANOSAT is short for "Utilizing the potential of NANOSATellites for the implementation of European Space Policy and space innovation".
Content disclaimer: source should be stated.
Created by Erik Kulu
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need any further information. Will gladly receive your questions and feedback.
Thank you to all who edit and add new information!