Space Systems Laboratory

About CubeSat

What is a CubeSat? CubeSats conform to a nanosatellite standard which is used for missions involving educational outreach, component testing, and space research. The motivation for CubeSats is to standardize the dimensions and mass along with the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics to help drive down launch costs. A One-Unit (1U) CubeSat must have external dimensions of no greater than 1 liter (approx. a 4” cube) and a mass of no greater than 1 Kg (2.2 lbs). Multiple CubeSats can be stacked upon one another to create 2U, and 3U satellites of greater volume.

The CubeSat standard was developed in 1999 by Stanford University and California Polytechnic State University to help universities perform space science, while also providing students the opportunity to gain hands on experience in designing, building, testing, and operating satellites.

CubeLab Standard Bus:

The CubeLab standard bus is designed to further lower the barriers of entry to research on the International Space Station.  The CubeLab standard requires CubeLab modules to appear to a laptop as a USB mass storage device.  This requires the implementation of a file system and a USB mass storage device stack.  In its simplest form, the CubeLab standard bus shall appear as a mass storage device to a laptop and provide an easy to use file system interface for the experiment.