Successful integration of PocketQube satellites in 3D-printed composite deployer

The 3D-printed, composites-based AlbaPod v2 satellite deployer and nine integrated PocketQubes for the Alba Cluster 3 mission enable largest PocketQube launch to date.


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Photo Credit: CRP Technology

Alba Orbital Ltd. (Glasgow, U.K.) recently announced the successful integration of nine PocketQube satellites — miniaturized satellites designed to de-orbit and decay upon re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere — with the AlbaPod v2 satellite launcher, which is said to be the world’s only space-proven PocketQube deployer, and is entirely 3D printed by CRP Technology (Modena, Italy) using its Windform XT 2.0 carbon fiber composite material (see “Satellite deployer redesign supported by 3D-printed composites”).

According to Alba Orbital, the PocketQubes will be applied to the upcoming Alba Cluster 3 mission, termed “That time of year,” which will take customer satellites to orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle in December 2020 as part of a rideshare agreement. The mission is said to be the largest PocketQube launch to date.

The mission’s cluster will include Turkey’s first pico-satellite, Grizu-263a, which was designed by a team of engineering students from Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University (Zonguldak) and named in honor of the 1992 Kozlu coal mine disaster. The team’s satellite, according to Alba Orbital, will be joined with other prestigious universities on the Alba Cluster 3 lineup, including Netherlands-based Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Ariel University (Ariel, Israel).

“Alba Orbital is the only company right now who have a qualified PocketQube Deployer and this gives you a certain confidence that your satellite will be deployed without any problems,” says Delfi-PQ team member, M. Ş. (Mehmet) Uludağ, in response as to why TU Delft signed up to launch.