ALBus (Advanced Electrical Bus)

Spacecraft ALBus (Advanced Electrical Bus)
Form factor CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Status Was operational until 2018-12-17, about 4 hours. No signal had been reported before, but beacons were heard (Smallsat 2020)
Launched 2018-12-16
NORAD ID 43859?
Deployer RailPOD [Tyvak]
Launcher Electron
Organization NASA Glenn Research Center
Institution Space agency
Entity Government (Civil / Military)
Headquarters US
Launch brokerer TriSept

Demonstrate efficient battery charging and 100 Watt distribution.


The goals of the mission are to demonstrate efficient battery charging in the orbital environment, 100 Watt distribution to a target electrical load, flexible power system distribution interfaces, adaptation of power system control on orbit and successful deployment of solar arrays and antennas using resettable shape memory alloy mechanisms.


Beacon signal was seen very strong at the exact period of 15 seconds on the exact frequency of 400.4 MHz.

This signal reception validated the success criteria for a successful deployment of solar panels and antennas. Had the antennas failed to deploy, the radio would have most likely destroyed itself as the antennas, when stowed, are touching the CubeSat's metal chassis.

Unfortunately, that series of beacons that were received four hours after ALBus deployed was the first and last time a signal was head from it. ALBus was not able to get a first pass scheduled to begin the search until Monday, December 17, 2018.

Several attempts were made until government shutdown and afterwards, but search was called off early February 2019.

Sources [1] [2] [3]
Photo sources [1] [2] [3] [4]
COTS subsystems
  • BATTERY - GomSpace NanoPower
  • SOLAR PANELS - Pumpkin
  • STRUCTURE - Pumpkin
Subsystems sources [1]

Last modified: 2023-06-08

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Created by Erik Kulu


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