Nebula Public Library

The knowledge bank of ESA’s R&D programmes

RADCUBE Mission Feasibility Study

Programme Reference
Prime Contractor
Start Date
End Date
RADCUBE Mission Feasibility Study

The objective of the RADCUBE CubeSat Mission is to demonstrate – through successful mission operation – the future use and applicability of the RADCUBE 3U CubeSat system in strategically important fields in the future, such as space weather research (and forecast services) and general radiation damage monitoring for commercial use. This objective will be achieved by providing and demonstrating the capabilities of an appropriate 3U CubeSat platform, and providing the RadMag space radiation measurement system based on silicon detector technology with magnetic field sensing capabilities provided by a sensitive magnetometer deployed on a boom.


The research on space weather and its effects will be more and more important in the near future, as a continuous increase in human presence is in progress in the Near-Earth region and the technology dependency of the human civilization has become higher than ever mainly in the fields of energy and telecommunication systems. To study the space weather, as a first step, it is necessary to develop and establish an advanced monitoring system to provide scientific data about the high energy particle environment and the status of the magnetosphere in order to gain the possibility for a reliable forecast database.

The conceptual approach of the RADCUBE mission definition and the preliminary mission/system requirements have been formulated. The major components and its preliminary specifications have been identified. The detailed feasibility study of the RadMag instrument has been performed and showed that such a complex instrument can fit within the constraints of a 3U CubeSat platform. The preliminary design concept was elaborated about the instrument in order to assess the expected performance of the scientific measurements. Finally, the project passed the System Requirements Review and ESA provided the authorization to proceed with the implementation phase.

The RADCUBE Study Phase has shown that the RADCUBE CubeSat could be potentially used as a space weather service provider platform. The developer team introduced the concept called CROSS (Cosmic Ray Observatory Satellite System), in which it is proposed to have a fleet of RADCUBE CubeSats in order to provide near-real time data about the space weather conditions and support the possibility of an European reliable space weather forecast system and database within ESA SSA SWE program.

The next step is the RADCUBE Mission Implementation Phase (B2,C/D,E/F) in order to in-orbit demonstrate the RADCUBE CubeSat space weather service related capabilities. In the frame of the implementation phase the detailed design will be elaborated and an EQM/FM based model philosophy will be followed in order to reach lower development risk.

Application Domain
Generic Technologies
Technology Domain
8 - System Design & Verification
Competence Domain
10-Astrodynamics, Space Debris and Space Environment
Initial TRL
Target TRL
Achieved TRL
Public Document
Executive Summary