6U CubeSat Low Cost Space Missions Workshop

17th – 18th July 2012

Click here to register to attend the Workshop

Workshop Details

Title: 6U CubeSat Low Cost Space Missions Workshop
Date: 17th – 18th July 2012
Abstracts Due: 26th June 2012
Venue: The Duffield Theatre, Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre, Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra Australia
Cost: Free
Download the workshop poster here.

For 2012 the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative includes 6U CubeSat satellites. An 8 kg 6U CubeSat can be designed to perform some of the Earth observation missions of 100 kg microsatellites. A 6U CubeSat (~33 x 10 x 22 cm, ≤ 8kg) has 4 times the payload capacity of a 3U CubeSat (33 x 10 x 10 cm, ≤ 4 kg) which uses two thirds of its volume for system components.


This workshop, the first in the world dedicated to the 6U CubeSat, will explore the range of missions possible with a 6U CubeSat in the areas of:

  • Astronomy
  • Atmospheric Science and other Planetary Science
  • Space Physics
  • Earth Observation
  • Biology
  • Other


Day 1 – Tuesday 17th July 2012
Time Presentation Title Speaker
10:00-10:30AM Morning tea
10:30-10:35AM Welcome Andrew Dempster (ACSER)
10:35-10:45AM Workshop Introduction Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
10:45-11:10AM 6U CubeSat Design for Earth Observation with 6.5 m GSD, 5 Spectral Bands and 14 Mbps downlink Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
11:10-11:35AM Scheduling multi-spectral collection of the Australian landmass using a 6U cubesat constellation Leon Stepan (DSTO)
11:35-12:00PM From SmallSat to 6U CubeSat: A Case Study in size and mass reduction Jeremy Straub (University of North Dakota)
12:00-01:00PM Lunch
01:00-01:25PM 6U CubeSat as the basis for a sustainable Australian space program Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
01:25-01:50PM TBC Roger Franzen, Mike Petkovic (ANU, Mt Stromlo Observatory)
01:50-02:50PM KEYNOTE: Research and Technology Implications and Applications for Very Small (MesoScale) Spacecraft John Hines (NASA-Ames)
02:50-03:15PM Synergy between 6U, fractionated and adaptable systems Gordon Roesler
03:15-03:45PM Afternoon tea
03:45PM Panel Discussion: Can the 6U CubeSat form the basis of a sustainable Australian space program?
Day 2 – Wednesday 18th July 2012
Time Presentation Title Speaker
09:05-09:10AM Workshop introduction final day Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
09:10-09:40AM TBC Stephanie Thomas (Princeton Satellite Systems)
09:40-10:05AM Satellite-borne impact detectors for small meteoroids, interplanetary dust and space debris Duncan Steel (UNSW)
10:05-10:35AM Morning tea
10:35-11:00AM A CubeSat Mission for Exoplanet Transit Detection and Asteroseismology Jeremy Bailey (UNSW)
11:00-12:00PM KEYNOTE: Astrophysics with 6U platforms Harvey Butcher (ANU)
12:00-01:00PM Lunch
01:00-01:25PM 6U CubeSat Commercial Applications Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
01:25-01:50PM 40 kg to LEO; a low cost launcher for Australia Nicholas Jamieson (UNSW)
01:50-02:15PM 6U Radar Altimeter Concept Design Nick Stacy (DSTO)
02:15-02:40PM GNSS Remote Sensing in a 6U Cubesat Andrew Dempster (UNSW)
02:40-03:05PM Preliminary parameters for an experimental payload for Trospospheric CO2 measurement using a space-born lidar 6U cubesat platform Manny Fabiao Dionizio (UNSW)
03:05-03:35PM Afternoon tea
03:35-04:05PM 6U CubeSat Systems (TBC) TBC
04:05-04:35PM CubeSat deorbit devices (TBC) TBC
04:35-04:45PM Workshop conclusion and next steps Steven Tsitas (ACSER)


Technology Keynote – John W. Hines, Chief Technologist, NASA-Ames Research Center
Science Keynote – Professor Harvey Butcher , Director Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Dr Steven Tsitas, Senior Research Associate, Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, University of New South Wales
Who Should Attend

Scientists and engineers interested in payload and mission concepts that take advantage of the greater payload capacity of the 6U CubeSat. For examples of 6U CubeSat designs and payloads that could perform some of the Earth observation missions of 100 kg microsatellites please see “6U CubeSat Design for Earth Observation with 6.5 m GSD, 5 Spectral Bands and 14 Mbps downlink” and “6U CubeSat Commercial Applications”. Reprints available upon request.

Presentations are invited describing payloads and mission concepts for the 6U CubeSat. Presentations are also invited regarding 6U launch opportunities and 6U CubeSat standards.

  • SESSION 1: Earth Observation Missions
  • SESSION 2: Astronomy Missions
  • SESSION 3: Planetary Science and Space Physics Missions
  • SESSION 4: Biology and other missions
  • SESSION 5: 6U CubeSat launch opportunities
  • SESSION 6: 6U CubeSat standards


If you wish to submit an abstract for the 6U CubeSat Low Cost Space Missions Workshop please email them to Stanija Buvac before the 3rd July 2012.

Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research