PocketQube satellites and sub-systems on the global marketplace


This is a market segment roundup initially developed in collaboration with Alba Orbital and focussing on companies that offer products and services in the PocketQube picosatellite form factor.

Electronic and structural miniaturisation of space components and sub-systems has led to a variety of innovations in recent years.

A wide range of parts and components have been manufactured with increasingly smaller physical footprints, and this has reduced the overall size of complete systems.

The costs and lead times of such systems have also decreased, while the range of possible in-orbit applications and technology available has grown. This has been driven by greater use of commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) components and the commercial availability of a wider range of products, parts and materials with flight heritage.

In addition, the growth in both research and commercial interest in space applications, along with an increase in new entrants and innovation to the market, has led to greater demand for more compatible, interoperable, and modular products.

Over the years this has led to the emergence of standardised physical form factor satellites such as CubeSats and PocketQubes.

alba orbital on satsearch
The Unicorn-1 satellite designed by Alba Orbital – for the European Space Agency’s first PocketQube mission (credit).

PocketQubes are very small satellites that are often used for research purposes. They were first developed based on work at Morehead State University (MSU) and Kentucky Space, USA, in 2009. They were originally called PocketQubs.

A PocketQube is a 5cm cube and typically has a launch mass of no more than 250g.

In small satellite form factor terminology a 5 x 5 x 5 cm3 cube is also known as 1p and PocketQube satellites are products that are usually organised by size according to the number of p they feature – in the same way that U is used for CubeSats.

In this post we take a look at a variety of PocketQube products, systems, and suppliers around the world offering hardware and services for this segment of the market.

PocketQube products on the global marketplace

In the section below you can see a variety of products and services related to PocketQubes that are available on the market.

These listings will be updated when new PocketQube products are added to the global marketplace for space at satsearch.co – so please check back for more or sign up for our mailing list for all the updates.

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The Applied Ion Systems AIS-VAT1-PQ Micro Vacuum Arc Thruster is designed for 1.5P PocketQubes to 1U Cubesats. It is available in both 2.5W and 5W, with a total impulse of 0.13Ns. The VAT1-PQ utilizes Solid Bismuth as a fuel allowing the lowest ignition voltage, easy triggering, and operation over a wider range of burning voltages. It weighs approximately 56 grams.

The FOSSA Systems PocketPOD is a PocketQube deployer designed for space applications. It has the capability capable to hold up to 8P PocketQubes weighing up to 400g. The deployer is self-contained and features small apertures near the doors for correct depressurization. It also consists of two deployment sensors installed near the door, which provide telemetry data to the launch vehicle.

The FOSSA Systems FOSSASat-2 is a picosatellite platform designed for LEO space applications. It is based on the PocketQube standard with a size of 2P. The platform is designed to meet the requirements of IoT, earth observation, and in-orbit demonstration missions.

Thanks for reading! If you would like further help identifying a PocketQube or picosatellite product or service for your needs, please click here to send us a query and we’ll use our extended global networks of suppliers to find the information you need.

Have you noticed that your company isn’t included in this article? Simply send us an email today, and we’d be happy to work with you to showcase your products to the satsearch community!

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