Session

Session X: The Smaller Elements

SSC09-X-2.pdf (356 kB)
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Abstract

CubeSats are currently forced to follow the traditional secondary payload model. In this model secondary payloads must identify a particular launch opportunity with a primary. The secondary payloads must commit to the launch and are subjected to any delays solely due to the primary. Additionally, this secondary payload paradigm is forcing suboptimal use of excess launch capacity since it complicates the process to add additional secondary payloads close to the launch date. This situation does not scale to support the growing demand for CubeSat launches that could potentially reach 100s of CubeSats per year within the next few years. A more flexible secondary launch model is required to support the CubeSat community and provide the fast access to space made possible by the CubeSat standard. This flexible model will allow developers to focus on the development of their spacecraft. Several key developments are necessary to reach a truly flexible secondary launch capability including technical, political, and regulatory issues. Some of the most critical are currently being addressed by work being performed by Cal Poly and their industrial and government partners.

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Aug 12th, 4:00 PM

Enabling Flexible Secondary Launches with the CubeSat Standard

CubeSats are currently forced to follow the traditional secondary payload model. In this model secondary payloads must identify a particular launch opportunity with a primary. The secondary payloads must commit to the launch and are subjected to any delays solely due to the primary. Additionally, this secondary payload paradigm is forcing suboptimal use of excess launch capacity since it complicates the process to add additional secondary payloads close to the launch date. This situation does not scale to support the growing demand for CubeSat launches that could potentially reach 100s of CubeSats per year within the next few years. A more flexible secondary launch model is required to support the CubeSat community and provide the fast access to space made possible by the CubeSat standard. This flexible model will allow developers to focus on the development of their spacecraft. Several key developments are necessary to reach a truly flexible secondary launch capability including technical, political, and regulatory issues. Some of the most critical are currently being addressed by work being performed by Cal Poly and their industrial and government partners.