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QBITO is a Spanish 2U-CubeSat designed by E-USOC (Spanish User Support and Operations Centre) at the Polytechnic University of Madrid participating in the QB50 project.

It carries the INMS (Ion/Neutral Mass Spectrometer), which measures the mass of ions and neutral atoms, as the primary payload for the QB50 project.

Together with the INMS, QBITO will carry three additional payloads:

  • An experiment to assess the performance of the n-Octadecane as a Phase Change Material (PCM). Developed in collaboration with the University of Liège.
  • A Medium Wave Infrared Detector, developed by the Spanish company New Infrared Technologies, which aims at testing this kind of detectors. The manufacturing process is based on the Vapour Phase Deposited PbSe technology in space conditions.
  • An experimental software for an attitude determination and control system based on fuzzy control theory. The purpose is to test the suitability of this kind of algorithms for spacecraft attitude control applications.

The QB50 project, which demonstrates the possibility of launching a network of 50 CubeSats built by Universities Teams all over the world to perform first-class science in the largely unexplored lower thermosphere.

The satellite was launched with the bulk of the QB50 constellation to the ISS in 2017, from where the satellite was deployed on 25 May 2017, but does not appear to work.

Nation: Spain
Type / Application: Technology, thermospheric research
Operator: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Contractors: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Equipment: INMS
Configuration: CubeSat (2U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 3 months
Mass: 2 kg
Orbit: 400 km × 406 km, 51.64°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
QBITO (QB50 ES01) 1998-067MH 18.04.2017 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(401) with Cygnus CRS-7, ALTAIR 1, SUSat, UNSW-EC0, i-INSPIRE 2, ZA-AeroSat, nSIGHT 1, Ex-Alta 1, LilacSat 1, NJUST 1, Aoxiang 1, SOMP 2, Aalto 2, X-CubeSat, SpaceCube, DUTHSat, UPSat, Hoopoe, LINK, SNUSAT 1, SNUSAT 1b, qbee50-LTU-OC, BeEagleSat, HAVELSAT, Phoenix, PolyITAN-2-SAU, QBUS 1, QBUS 2, QBUS 4, IceCube, CSUNSat 1, CXBN 2, KySat 3, SHARC, Lemur-2 30, ..., 33


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