World's largest database of nanosatellites,
more than 1400 nanosats and CubeSats

Facts as of 19 September 2016

  • Nanosatellites launched in total: 544
  • CubeSats launched in total: 479
  • Nanosatellites in orbit: 288
  • Operational nanosatellites: 210
  • Nanosatellites destroyed during launch: 70

NANOSATELLITE & CUBESAT DATABASE

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Last major update: 2016-09-19

NANOSATELLITE COMPANIES

CubeSat companies and startups offering hardware, software and services for or with nanosatellites.

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Notable CubeSat Missions

Mission Destination Launch Summary Image
CPOD LEO 2016 Docking with 3U nanosatellites. Will demonstrate precision flying around each other and then docking. Will enable to explore asteroids, moons and to inspect other spacecraft.
INSPIRE Earth escape 2017 Goal of two 3U INSPIRE spacecraft is to open deep space to CubeSats and demonstrate necessary functions like telecommunication and navigation. Will be the first interplanetary and deep space CubeSat.
Mars Cube One (MarCO) Mars flyby 2018 MarCO two 6U deep space CubeSats were planned to be launched in 2016, but delayed due to InSight Mars lander. They will flyby Mars during the landing of InSight and relay status in real time, which is not possible today.
NEA Scout Asteroid flyby 2018 13 6U CubeSats will launch with a new NASA SLS rocket in 2018 sending Orion capsule on a trip around the Moon. Will be the first CubeSat to reach an asteroid and map it using an ~80 m2 solar sail for propulsion.
Lunar Flashlight Moon 2018 The first CubeSat to reach the Moon and the first mission to use lasers to look for water ice. Near infrared lasers will shine light into the shaded polar regions, while the on-board spectrometer measures surface reflection and composition.
AIM/AIDA CubeSats Didymos, asteroid 2020 European Space Agency (ESA) Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) spacecraft to Didymos will include two 3U CubeSats that will be selected from ASPECT, AGEX, PALS, CUBATA or DUSTCUBE CubeSat studies.
SWIMSat GEO 2021 6U CubeSat to monitor solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and monitor Earth meteor impacts. Might be the first CubeSat to geostationary (GEO) orbit, but too early to know for sure.
DARCSIDE Europa, Jupiter moon 2025 3U CubeSat flying with Europa Clipper spacecraft to study Europa's atmosphere. Experiments are planned to be drag measurement and high energy particle detector.

State-of-the-art CubeSat Technologies

Complimentary reading is the NASA Small Spacecraft Technology State of the Art report.

Technology Organization Summary Status and additional information Image
Communications Planet 120+ Mbit/s to 5 m ground station in X band with patch antenna. 62.5 Mbit/s proof from 2015. Downloading 2 GB per pass was common. It is much faster now as told privately and hints about a new antenna. X-band in orbit since spring 2013.
NASA Mars Cube One (MarCO) reflectarray capable of 8 Kbit/s from Mars in X-band. Three 33.3 cm x 19.9 cm panels achieve >28 dB gain at 8.4 GHz. Ready. Was supposed to launch in spring 2016, but delayed to 2018 due to InSight Mars lander.
NASA KaPDA parabolic deployable Ka-band antenna with 0.5 m diameter, 1.5U stowed size, 1.2 kg mass and 42.5 dB gain. Scheduled to launch in 2017 onboard 6U RainCube. Many versions built and tested. It is the first 35.75 GHz Ka-band radar payload on a CubeSat.
NASA Iris V2 Transponder. Parameters include 0.5U, 1.2 kg and interoperability with Deep Space Network (DSN) at X-band. Scheduled for 2018. Has radiation tolerant parts for years long missions and thermal management for hours long navigation tracking sessions.
Astro Digital
(Aquila)
40 Mbit/s in 26.8 GHz Ka-band with patch antenna on Perseus-M 6U CubeSats. Module is about 1U and 1 kg. Launched in 2014. Were first Ka band transmitters on a nanosatellite. Upgrade is about 1.5U and 1.5 kg and achieves 200+ Mbps downlink.
Aerospace 1.5U AeroCube-7 (OCSD) will do optical communications with data rates up to 622 Mbps using 80 cm ground station. OCSD A was launched in 2015, but attitude control problems prevented testing laser communications. OCSD B and OCSD C will launch in 2016.
Power Planet 3+3 3U deployable solar panels In orbit since 2013, were updated with new solar cells in 2015.
MMA Design HaWK steerable 3 × 3U solar arrays capable of tracking Sun and 36W peak power. Might use Honeybee SADA drive actuator. First launch scheduled for 2016. Will launch also to Moon on BioSentinel in 2018 and to Mars on MarCO.
NASA ISARA has solar cells opposite the reflectarray. 3 × 3U panels achieve 33 dB of gain at 26 GHz and data rates about 100 Mbps. Now scheduled for 2016. Plan to make it commercially available with Pumpkin, adapted from its "Turkey Tail" standard design.
Compact Satellite Bus Planet Bus is a wrap-around design of about 0.25U - 0.5U total volume. Includes star camera, GPS, 4 reaction wheels, 3 magnetorquers, UHF transceiver, X-band transmitter S-band receiver, low-power x86 processor and 0.5 TB of storage.
Tyvak Intrepid platform avionics, power system, communication, and payload interface are all hosted in a 9 cm × 9 cm × 3 cm package. 400 MHz ARM processor, 512 MB storage, 64 MB RAM, embedded Linux, integrated power regulation system, sensor suite, low profile UHF radio.
Propulsion NASA Solar sail with an area of ~86 m2 that fits into 2U and has 2.5 kg mass. First launch in 2018 aboard NEA Scout and will provide delta-V of at least 400 m/s.
Busek BIT-3 propulsion sized 2.5U includes 1.5 kg solid iodine propellant and will provide 6U CubeSat up to 3 km/s of delta-V. Scheduled to fly aboard Lunar IceCube 6U CubeSat to Moon in 2018.
Phase Four CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) sized 4U could provide 8 km/s of delta-V for 6 kg dry mass satellite consuming 2.56 kg of water. $1 million contract from DARPA to deliver TRL 7 engine.
Optical payloads (Cameras) Planet Planet Scope (PS2) instrument is a 5 element optical system with 29 MP detector capable of taking images with 3.7 m ground resolution and swath of 24.6 km × 16.4 km from 475 km altitude. Sensor type is Four Band Frame Imager with Two-Stripe NIR filter. Scenes may be acquired as a single RGB or a split-frame with a RGB half and a NIR (near-infrared) half depending on the satellite.
Hera Systems 1-meter resolution imaging satellite is built on a 12U cubesat, 22-kilogram form factor. First launch of 9 12U CubeSats in late 2016 or early 2017.
Astro Digital (Aquila) 6U has 22 m resolution in RGB and NIR. 16U has 2.5 m resolution in RGB, red edge, and NIR using one 70 MP sensor and butcher block filter. First satellites now planned to launch in late 2016.

CubeSat Commercial Constellations and Investments

Organization Satellites launched /
Planned network
First satellite
launched
Form factor Field Funding Technical Image
Planet 179 / 150+ 2013 3U Earth observation $183 million 29 MP sensor taking images with 3.7 m ground resolution and swath of 24.6 km × 16.4 km from 475 km altitude.
Spire 17 / 50+ 2013 3U AIS / Weather $69.5 million Measure the change in GPS signal after they have passed through the atmosphere to calculate very precise profiles for temperature, pressure, and humidity.
Planetary Resources 2 / 10 2014 12U Earth observation $21.1+ million Visible-NIR 40 channel hyperspectral imager with 10 m resolution. Midwave infrared imager (MWIR) in 3-5 μm with 20 m ground resolution.
Astro Digital (Aquila Space) 2 / 10+20 2014 6U & 16U Earth observation ? 6U has 22 m resolution in RGB and NIR. 16U has 2.5 m resolution in RGB, red edge, and NIR using one 70 MP sensor and butcher block filter.
Hera Systems 0 / 9-48 2016 12U Earth observation $4.2+ million 1-meter resolution imaging satellite is built on a 12U cubesat, 22-kilogram form factor.
Sky and Space Global 0 / 200 2017 3U IoT / M2M / Voice $4.5 million
Kepler Communications 0 / ? 2017 3U IoT / M2M $5 million
Helios Wire 0 / ? 2018 16U? IoT / M2M ?
SkyFi 0 / 60 ? 3U Internet /
Communications?
$3 million Up to 1 Gbps anywhere in the world with novel antenna.
Blink Astro 0 / ? ? 3U? IoT / M2M ?
4skies 0 / ? ? 12U? IoT / M2M ?

Ground Station Networks for Small Satellites

Organization Locations
active / planned
Status Bands Additional information Cost Investments
Leaf Space 0 / 20 Coming in 2017 VHF, UHF, S, X With per Megabyte payment pay only what you download from your satellites. 5€/Mbyte for receiving UHV/VHF. 0.4€/Mbyte to receive S band.
0.1€/Mbyte to receive X band.
$1.1 million
Audacy 0 / ? Planned for 2019 ? Space-based relay system for continuous connectivity. Also creating an open Mission Operations software toolset and distributed freee. ? $2 million
RBC Signals ? / 16 In private Beta UHF, S, X, Ka Aggregates the unused capacity of existing ground stations. Simple way for ground station owners to increase the revenue of their systems. ? Yes, amount unknown
Spaceflight Networks 18-26 / ? Operational UHF, S, X Provides a list of satellite radios that are immediately compatible. $1.95/min for UHF.
$19.95/min for S/X band.
?
Kongsberg KSAT Light 22 / 22 Operational VHF, UHF, S, X, Ka Two different service levels, one with high level of availability (Maxi) and one for users with less stringent needs (Flexi). 250€/pass ? ?
SSC Infinity ? / ? Operational ? Makes use of pre-qualified radios and standardized ground system hardware. ? ?
SatNOGS 6 / ? Operational VHF, UHF Open Sourced. Any observer is able to utilize all available Ground Stations. All observations are public and all data are distributed freely. Free ?


Last update to tables: 2016-09-23

NOTES

Database includes:

Database does not include (usually):

  • Femtosatellites (10 g to 100 g) and chipsats.
  • Suborbitally launched satellites.
  • Satellites still in the idea or concept phase. This might be subjective and often difficult to determine.
  • Data is since 1998. There were at least 21 additional nanosatellites launched in the 1960s (Vanguard, OSCAR, ERS).

Comments:

  • "-" and TBD (To Be Determined) are used for empty or unknown cells.
  • It is possible to Edit without an account. A menu with "Edit" button should appear to the left of satellite name.
  • Information has been collected from various sources and in some cases an educational guess has been made. Apologies for possible mistakes, please use Edit or let me know.
  • "Mission type" and "Mission type description" are part of Space Taxonomy shared by Hector Guerrero-Padron from European Commission Space Policy and Research Unit.

BACKGROUND

This database began and initial information has been collected during the European Commission FP7 NANOSAT project from 2013 to 2014. NANOSAT is short for "Utilizing the potential of NANOSATellites for the implementation of European Space Policy and space innovation".


Project consortium consisted of the following organisations




Content disclaimer: source should be stated.

CONTACT

Created by Erik Kulu

Email: erikkulu@gmail.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/erikkulu
Twitter: twitter.com/nanosatellites

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need any further information. Will gladly receive your questions and feedback.

Thank you to all who edit and add new information!