CubeSat Kit

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Useful CubeSat Kit Links

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CubeSat-Related Components, Service Providers & Research Groups

  • Gunter Krebs maintains a website with comprehensive data on some CubeSat missions, e.g. the Colony I buses and Caerus/Mayflower.
  • Clyde Space makes a COTS Electrical Power System (EPS) for the CubeSat Kit, and offers other power-related component and design services as well.
  • Spectrolab offers low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells in a unique form factor. These TASC cells have become popular among CubeSat Kit users. Note that these cells are generally not available to users outside the USA.
  • The comprehensive on-line Photovoltaics CDROM covers a wide range of issues concerning solar cells and solar arrays.
  • Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd offers the SSTL SGR-05 series of Space GPS receivers for miniature LEO applications. These receivers are offered in two grades: SGR-05U (non-traceable parts, commercial-grade components, etc.) and SGR-05P (traceable parts, industrial-grade components, etc.).
  • SpaceLink Co Ltd offers the IGPS-1 Micro GPS receiver for small satellites in LEO orbits. Contact them at
  • There is also an OpenSourceGPS effort. Clifford Kelley's site is one part of a webring devoted to open-source GPS. Doug Baker's GPS Creations provides COTS hardware for this effort.
  • Delkin offers a line of industrial and extended temperature SD cards, compatible with the CubeSat Kit (though only specified for -25C to + 85C operation).
  • SimpleTech also offers industrial SD cards that are specified for the full -40C to +85C range -- more info here.
  • 1Earth Research was founded to bring advanced analysis techniques used in the space industry to terrestrial and space customers.
  • SRI International provides system design, development and mission support capabilities for picosatellite technology demonstration missions.
  • Zig Aerospace is developing reliable and economical solutions for launching nano-satellites into Low Earth Orbit.
  • microSPACE has released a cold gas micropropulsion system that is compatible with the CubeSat Kit and other nanosatellites.
  • Jason Lohn at Nasa Ames' Evolvable Systems Group has developed small antennas based on genetic algorithms.
  • REM Oxford Ltd provides a SpaceFET radiation dosimeter package that is compatible with CubeSats. REM also offers a Handbook of Radiation Effects, "designed to help spacecraft engineers design vehicles to tolerate space radiation."
  • Jacob Beningo of Beningo Engineering maintains a blog at EDN and is active in the development of embedded software frameworks for CubeSat missions.
  • SMART Modular Technologies offers industrial-specification SD memory cards that are compatible with the CubeSat Kit.
  • Texas Instruments has a High-Reliability (HiRel) Division that makes components for the Defense & Aerospace Industry. Offerings include the C2000 series of DSPs (Pumpkin's Salvo RTOS is compatible with the C2000 series) and a variety of analog & logiccomponents that are in some cases pin-compatible with the existing parts used in the CubeSat Kit.

Presentations & Working Groups

  • The presentations given at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2008 can now be viewed online the AMSAT-UK website.
  • JPL and JHU/APL host a yearly worskshop on space flight software. The proceedings are available online.
  • The OUFTI Nanosatellite Project at the University of Liege in Belgium has made its technical documentation available online. These M.S. theses address a wide range of issues surrounding the design of a nanosatellite. OUFTI-1 is based on the CubeSat Kit.

Professional Organizations & Interested Individuals

  • The annual SmallSat Conference brings together diverse people and organizations who are actively involved in micro-. nano- and picosatellites.
  • Aalborg University of Denmark organizes the annual Europe-centric Space technology Edcucation Conference. STEC05.
  • Ralph Wallio, W0RPK maintains a website with plenty of amateur radio and CubeSat-related information.
  • The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) handles amateur satellite frequency coordination.
  • An independent, small CubeSat-centric forum.

Third-party Software Tools for the CubeSat Kit and CubeSats in General

  • Pumpkin supplies the Salvo RTOS used in the CubeSat Kit. It is also available for other single-chip microcontrollers, including PICmicro® MCUs, the 8051 family, AVR® and megaAVR™, ARM® ARM7TDMI and TI's TMS320C2000 DSPs.
  • We require CrossWorks for MSP430 from Rowley Associates as the software development IDE for use with the CubeSat Kit. A powerful and full-featured integrated IDE, it also includes a useful printf()-style console I/O debugger. Rowley offers very attractive educational discount pricing. Each CubeSat Kit now ships with a USB-based Flash Emulation Tool (FET) that is compatible with CrossWorks for MSP430. The CubeSat Kit's EFFS-THIN Flash File System libraries are built with CrossWorks for MSP430.
  • Adam Dunkel's uIP TCP/IP stack is fully compatible with the MSP430 Flight MCU in the CubeSat Kit. This is an excellent way to add a web server to your CubeSat Kit.
  • The IARU's Jan King has made his suite of graphic spreadsheets to help in the development of link budgets for amateur satellites available online.
  • We recommend that CubeSat Kit users obtain their own copy of Solidworks for use with the CubeSat Kit's online 3D CAD models. An educational version (with educational pricing) is available at susbtantially reduced cost,
  • For those users who do not wish to invest in learning Solidworks but need a decent 2D drafting package, Solid Edge 2D is available as a free download from Siemens.

Component Suppliers

  • Digi-Key Corporation is an excellent source for electronic components like semiconductors, surface-mount passive components, supplies, etc. They have a huge catalog.
  • Spark Fun Electronics has an especially impressive selection of interesting electronics components, tools, etc.
  • Jameco is also a useful source for various electronic components.
  • Saelig has a wide selection of inexpensive benchtop test equipment, as well as single-chip solutions (e.g. Ethernet-in-a-chip).
  • McMaster-Carr carries a large selection of metric fasteners, including screws and standoffs. All of the CubeSat Kit's structural fasteners can be sourced from McMaster-Carr, even in small quantities. When choosing fasteners, select items of 316 stainless steel (instead of 18-8 stainless steel) wherever possible. McMaster-Carr also carry materials. Use their on-line catalog.
  • MSC Industrial Supply has an extensive selection of tools and materials. Their catalog has over 4,000 pages.
  • The CubeSat Kit makes extensive use of connectors from Samtec, Inc. Samtec has an enormous selection of connectors in different shapes and sizes for nearly any applicayion you can think of. Samtec also has a very liberal sample request policy. Be sure to obtain a copy of their full-line catalog.
  • Texas Instruments usually supplies semiconductor samples free of charge. A great place to get spare MSP430's for your CubeSat Kit Development Board! Search by part number, then use the Samples link.
  • Accutrace and Advanced Circuits are two US-based PCB manufacturers specializing in high-quality PCB manufacturing with quick turnaround times. These board houses usually require Gerber photoplotter files from professional CAD packages like OrCAD, PADS, etc.
  • Small Parts, Inc. has a variety of useful and unique components, including Nitonol wire (useful for making CubeSat antennas).
  • Comedia provides a variety of image sensors and camera modules. Their low-cost, miniature JPEG Compression Module can deliver still captures via RS-232.
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