CubeSat platforms and buses on the market

Roundup

CubeSat platforms enable mission designers to leverage proven, pre-integrated technologies to speed up engineering. This article shares information on commercially-available CubeSat buses and platforms, across a variety of form factors.

Please note that we will be keeping this page updated with changes to the marketplace, so please consider bookmarking the page for the future.


Contents


Introduction to CubeSat platforms

CubeSat buses and CubeSat platforms are becoming increasingly viable options in the space industry. A CubeSat platform includes various components, connections, resources and subsystems needed to provide basic operations, and available volume and power budget for the primary and supporting payloads.

There are many aspects to selecting the right CubeSat platform to form the backbone of a new satellite, for example;

Size – in general, the larger the satellite, the greater the performance that can be achieved, and the simpler the engineering and testing will be. But bigger systems will typically cost more than smaller ones, so this is a trade-off for each mission.

Included technologies – the pre-integrated subsystems, interfaces, and other components in the bus can help you determine the best fit for your mission. Consider your entire mission plan and target service level, as well as the hardware you have already developed or planned, when deciding which platform setup and contents best meet your needs.

Technology heritage – in most cases, a commercially-available CubeSat bus has a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and the heritage data will be available, in some form, for your review. But there might be opportunities to negotiate favorable terms for unproven systems, if you’re happy to take on the risk of course!

Qualification and compliance – ensure that you understand what aspects of compliance and licensing are your responsibility and what will be handled by the CubeSat platform manufacturer. The regulatory burden each stakeholder takes on might affect your supplier decision.

Vendor fit – as far as possible, you need to ensure that you’ll have a good working relationship with the bus supplier. Factor this in to your decision and try to determine how well you might collaborate during the initial sales process.

More information on the factors that need to weighed up in a satellite platform decision can be found in this article, along with details of microsatellite platforms available on the global space marketplace. In the following section you can find details of various commercially-available CubeSat platforms, organized by form factor.


0.5U-3U CubeSat platforms

The Dhruva Space CUBESAT P-DoT is a CubeSat platform designed for space applications. It is a scalable 0.5U Platform designed to enable small satellite technology demonstrations as well as low-power M2M and IoT missions. The platform is optimized for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions and consists of a UHF transceiver.

alenspace-1u-small-satellite-platform

The EnduroSat 1U Platform is a CubeSat platform with ability to support 450g of commercial and scientific payloads. The fully integrated nanosatellite is available with EnduroSat Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) and complete payload integration support.

The Serenum Space V-Bus 1U is a flight proven 1U platform designed for space applications. It is a subsystems compatible with CubeSat standards. V-Bus is mainly suitable for earth observation, IoT and communication services, and educational and science experiment missions. The platform is available for CubeSat class between 1U and 3U.

The EnduroSat 1.5U Platform is a CubeSat platform with ability to support 1U form factor of commercial and scientific payloads. The fully integrated nanosatellite is available with EnduroSat Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) and complete payload integration support.

The Serenum Space V-Bus 2U is a flight proven 2U platform designed for space applications. It is a subsystems compatible with CubeSat standards. V-Bus is mainly suitable for earth observation, IoT and communication services, and educational and science experiment missions. The platform is available for CubeSat class between 1U and 3U.

alenspace-2u-small-satellite-platform

The EnduroSat 3U platform is a CubeSat Bus suitable of supporting up to 1.5U (1.5 kg) payloads of nanosatellite with integrated Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) and payload integration support.

The Serenum Space V-Bus 3U is a flight proven 3U platform designed for space applications. It is a subsystems compatible with CubeSat standards. V-Bus is mainly suitable for earth observation, IoT and communication services, and educational and science experiment missions. The platform is available for CubeSat class between 1U and 3U.

alenspace-3u-small-satellite-platform

The IMT SRL CubeSat 3U platform is a CubeSat platform suitable for a range of Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) altitudes and inclinations. The platform features three attitude modes, attitude stabilization in 3 axis, solar panels, battery pack and SEU mitigation by design increasing the lifetime up to 5 years.

The OrbAstro 3U satellite platform includes engineering support with payload integration, flight-acceptance testing of the fully integrated satellite, and storage before shipment to the launch provider. Launch can be managed by OrbAstro and provided through a 3rd-party partner.

C3S’s main strength in the small satellite industry is that our engineering team devoted great attention on thermal design during the development of our platform. Therefore, the structure is optimized for high dissipation density and thermo-elasticity, both payload and platform wise.

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6U CubeSat platforms

The EnduroSat 6U CubeSat Platform is a fully integrated microsatellite capable of supporting up-to 4U (7.5 kg) payloads. The system is available with an Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) with pointing accuracy as high as 0.01 degrees and complete payload integration.

The Kongsberg NanoAvionics M6P is a 6U nanosatellite bus designed for NewSpace applications. The M6P’s onboard systems are flight-proven and are pre-configured, to simplify and speed up integration. This allows customers to focus more time and effort on higher-level mission tasks, such as optimizing payload performance or testing new services.

alenspace-6u-small-satellite-platform

The Space Inventor 6U satellite is a platform configured from modular subsystems suitable for IOD, scientific, educational, BIU and IoT missions. The basic subsystems include power plant for power generation, conditioning and distribution, on-board data handling, communication to ground segment, and attitude determination and control system.

The IMT SRL CubeSat 6U platform is a CubeSat platform suitable for Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) applications such as Earth Observation and remote sensing. EOSS CubeSat 6U and HORTA CubeSat 6U are R&D projects involved by IMT in the development of the CubeSat platform.

The OrbAstro 6U satellite platform includes engineering support with payload integration, flight-acceptance testing of the fully integrated satellite, and storage before shipment to the launch provider. Launch can be managed by OrbAstro and provided through a 3rd-party partner.

C3S’s main strength in the small satellite industry is that our engineering team devoted great attention on thermal design during the development of our platform. Therefore, the structure is optimized for high dissipation density and thermo-elasticity, both payload and platform wise.

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8U-12U CubeSat platforms

The Kongsberg NanoAvionics M8P is an 8U nanosatellite bus designed for NewSpace applications. It is designed to support NewSpace technologies and has been specifically designed for optimum performance in demanding commercial settings. The M8P can provide very similar average orbit power to a 16U nanosatellite, and improve mission capabilities and redundancy at only marginally increased production and launch costs compared to the M6P.

The Space Inventor 12U satellite is a platform configured from modular subsystems suitable for IOD, scientific, educational, BIU and IoT missions. The basic subsystems include power plant for power generation, conditioning and distribution, on-board data handling, communication to ground segment, and attitude determination and control system.

kongsberg-nanoavionics-multi-purpose-redundant-12u-bus-mp12-r

The Kongsberg NanoAvionics M12P is a 12U nanosatellite bus designed for NewSpace applications. It is designed to reduce development time and costs, with an optimized 12U platform that requires minimal flight readiness and flight acceptance in order to finalize for launch. M12P satellites support a variety of common data interfaces and feature a fail-safe design that can keep the satellite fully operational in the event of hardware malfunction.

The Hemeria Nanosatellite hp-dem 12U is a nanosatellite platform in 12U CubeSat size designed for science, commercial and defense purposes. The operational space systems are designed for science, commercial and defense applications.

C3S’s main strength in the small satellite industry is that our engineering team devoted great attention on thermal design during the development of our platform. Therefore, the structure is optimized for high dissipation density and thermo-elasticity, both payload and platform wise.

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16U CubeSat platforms

The Space Inventor 16U is a platform configured from modular subsystems and is available for geostationary orbit missions. The basic subsystems include power plant for power generation, conditioning and distribution, on-board data handling, communication to ground segment, and attitude determination and control system.

kongsberg-nanoavionics-multi-purpose-redundant-16u-bus-mp16-r

The Kongsberg NanoAvionics M16P is a 16U nanosatellite bus designed for NewSpace applications. It is designed to provide a pre-integrated and pre-qualified platform that is fully tested electrically, functionally, and mechanically for a faster and simpler setup. NanoAvionics offers three M16P nanosatellite standard performance configurations – Light, Mid, and Max – providing options that best match customers’ payload, mission objectives, and budget.

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Various/other size CubeSat platforms

The Dhruva Space Nanosat P30 is a satellite bus with a platform mass of 10-30 kg suitable for commercial, defence and scientific mission in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The Exobotics XO-BUS 3U is a nanosatellite / CubeSat platform designed for the rapid deployment of space missions. It consists of flight-proven computing, ADCS, power, radios, and navigation systems. Exobotic's payload-agnostic approach enables tight supply chain control and guaranteed delivery within 12 months on the fast-track program. is optimized for testing customer payloads in space, making it suitable for use in experimental, technology demonstrations, and commercial missions.

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