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An international network of 50 CubeSats for multi-point, in-situ measurements in the lower thermosphere and re-entry research

Objective

The QB50 Project will demonstrate the possibility of launching a network of 50 CubeSats built by CubeSat teams from all over the world to perform first-class science and in-orbit demonstration in the largely unexplored middle and lower thermosphere. Space agencies are currently not pursuing a multi-spacecraft network for in-situ measurements in the middle and lower thermosphere because the cost of a network of 50 satellites built to industrial standards would be very high and not justifiable in view of the limited orbital lifetime. No atmospheric network mission for in-situ measurements has been carried out in the past or is planned for the future. A network of satellites for in-situ measurements in the middle and lower thermosphere can only be realised by using very low-cost satellites, and CubeSats are the only realistic option. The Project will demonstrate the sustained availability of low-cost launch opportunities, for launching small payloads into low-Earth orbit; these could be microsatellites or networks of CubeSats or nanosats or many individual small satellites for scientific or technological research. The Project will include the development of a deployment system for the deployment into orbit of a large number of single, double or triple CubeSats. Once, the system is developed for QB50 it can be easily adapted to other missions. QB50 will also provide a launch opportunity for key technology demonstration on IOD CubeSats such as propulsion systems and aerobrakes. Up to 50 CubeSats will be launched together to low earth orbit. Due to atmospheric drag, the orbits of the CubeSats will decay and progressively lower and lower layers of the thermosphere will be explored without the need for on-board propulsion, perhaps down to 200 km. QB50 will be among the first CubeSat networks in orbit

Call for proposal

FP7-SPACE-2011-1
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

INSTITUT VON KARMAN DE DYNAMIQUE DES FLUIDES
Address
Chaussee De Waterloo 72
1640 Rhode Saint Genese
Belgium
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 3 951 552,95
Administrative Contact
Gaele Winters (Mr.)

Participants (15)

EADS Astrium Space Transportation GmbH

Participation ended

Germany
Address
Hunefeldstrasse 1-5
28199 Bremen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Sascha Waechter (Mr.)
ISIS - INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS IN SPACE BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 2 266 742
Address
Motorenweg 23
2623 CR Delft
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jeroen Rotteveel (Mr.)
UNIVERSITY OF SURREY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 600 000
Address
Stag Hill
GU2 7XH Guildford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Maria Sega-Buhalis (Ms.)
UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 883 657,61
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Greta Borg-Carbott (Ms.)
ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 99 913,85
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Herbert Shea (Prof.)
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 50 000
Address
Stevinweg 1
2628 CN Delft
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Martin Hoekstra (Mr.)
INSTITUT ROYAL D'AERONOMIE SPATIALEDE BELGIQUE
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 4 487,96
Address
Avenue Circulaire 3
1180 Bruxelles
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Marc Delancker (Mr.)
LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FUR ATMOSPHARENPHYSIK EV AN DER UNIVERSITAT ROSTOCK
Germany
EU contribution
€ 35 573,98
Address
Schloss Strasse 6
18225 Kuhlungsborn
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Franz-Josef Luebken (Prof.)
SA KHRISTIANOVICH INSTITUTE OF THEORETICAL AND APPLIED MECHANICS OF SIBERIAN BRANCH OF RUSSIAN ACADEMY OFSCIENCE*ITAM OF SB RAS
Russia
EU contribution
€ 50 000
Address
Institutskaya 4/1
630090 Novosibirsk
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Yevgeny Bondar (Dr.)
AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE SAS
France
EU contribution
€ 20 775,50
Address
31 Rue Des Cosmonautes Zi Du Palays
31402 Toulouse Cedex
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Serge Radulovic (Mr.)
DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUR LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT EV
Germany
Address
Linder Hohe
51147 Koln
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Peter Spietz (Dr.)
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY
United States
Address
Serra Mall 450
94305 2004 Stanford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Catherine Boxwell (Ms.)
NORTHWESTERN POLYTECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
China
Address
Youyi Xilu 127
710072 Xi An
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Xiaozhou Yu (Prof.)
SPACE SYSTEMS INC CORPORATION
United States
Address
Francis Avenue 2155
95051 Santa Clara
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Periklis Papadopoulos (Prof.)
AIRBUS DS GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 36 000
Address
Robert Koch Strasse 1
82024 Taufkirchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Sascha Waechter (Mr.)