Research in Engineering and Aviation

SLUCUBE: Innovative high performance nanosatellite science and technology demonstration mission

December 2009

Author(s): S. Jayaram

Journal: Acta Astronautica, Volume 65, Issue 11-12, pp 1804-1812, 2009. DOI:


The Space Systems Research Laboratory (SSRL) at Saint Louis University is developing SLUCUBE nanosatellite as part of the space mission design program. The objective of the mission is to demonstrate space capability of high performance nanosatellite components that has been developed at SSRL for the past three years. The objective of the program is to provide extremely low-cost and rapid access to space for scientists and commercial exploitation using commercial-off-the-shelf components. SLUCUBE is a double CubeSat with dimensions 10×10×20 cm and a mass of 2 kg. This nanosatellite features suite of technology demonstration components to enlarge the capability of space mission for such class of spacecrafts. The primary mission of SLUCUBE is to test and demonstrate several enabling technologies by flying a number of university developed high performance components. This paper describes the new developed technologies by providing details of specific components developed along with the R&D efforts and laboratory facilities. A brief discussion about the student involvement and educational benefits will also be presented.