Project Q-Cube

The Q-Cube (a Quarter sized CubeSat) is primarily intended as a route to viable education satellite projects for secondary school pupils and undergraduate students. However given a Q-Cube project could be completed for around Ā£10,000 including launch it also may have secondary applications for industry and academia as a technical flight demonstration platform for new nanosatellite products and components.


The background to the Q-Cube concept is two attempts to make small satellites as an undergraduate final year project at the University of Bristol, and the British Interplanetary Society ā€œspriteā€ satellite programme. The conclusions reached from this experience are that for upper school and undergraduate projects to produce flightworthy satellites that can perform a real function, the satellite should be in the nanosat class (0.1 to 1 kg), be very simple in its basic concept and have a proven platform with any difficult interface issues mostly resolved. These have been the guiding principles in developing the Q-Cube concept in a preliminary study that explored taking the basic Cubesat format but reducing the size and complexity to the minimum, while still producing a design that can be built from standard electrical components and without special facilities or skills.

Project Summary

Name: Project Q Cube

Dates:Ā May 2016 to Dec 2017

Summary:Ā To make a prototype satellite intended for school and undergraduate projects

Project deliverables:Ā A prototype Q-Cube Satellite (hopefully flown) and anĀ instruction/guidebook for use by educational project teams

Long-term goal: To encourage the use of practical and flown satellites as an option for STEM education.

Technology timeframe:Ā Near-term (Present – 2020)

BIS involvement:Ā The BIS Q-Cube will be a complete project. Hopefully other trial projects will run in parallel leading to a combined launch.

Current BIS activity:Ā KickSat Project starts the BIS capability in flown satellites, Q-Cube would extend this.

Progress so far:Ā The Q-Cube satellite is in development with Hempsell Astronautics and is close to Engineering Model construction and that company will donate a structure, power and computing package as the basis for the project.

BIS leader/contact:Ā Mark Hempsell

Further information: Email [email protected]

Be sociable; support the BIS!