IOS TubeSat Kits

IOS satellite kits are now available with or without a launch option

TubeSat in orbit

TubeSat 1.0 deployment from the ISS Kibo Module (Photo: JAXA)

The IOS TubeSat Kit is currently the lowest-cost professional-quality satellite Kit on the planet. It is the super low-cost alternative to the CubeSat. Instead of a cubic shape, the TubeSat has a hexadecagon-shaped cross section with a maximum mass of 0.75-kg. It is assembled with high-quality, custom-printed circuit boards and precision laser-cut aluminum components. TubeSat kit builders include engineering or science professionals who wish to space-qualify hardware in Low Earth Orbit, educational institutions requiring student training in spacecraft design, and experimenters who just want a chance to explore space. The TubeSat can also serve as a Personal Satellite for artists, musicians, advertisers, or individuals who wish to send items into space, or to transmit messages from space. If required, and for extra fees based on mission requirements, Interorbital Systems and its partners can offer design, development, training, and manufacturing services to individuals who do no possess the technical skills required to build the spacecraft.

IOS TubeSat 2.0

For those seeking the ultimate satellite-building experience at the lowest possible price, Interorbital Systems is completing the development and testing of its next-generation TubeSat 2.0 satellite kit. The TubeSat 2.0 kit should be available in October of 2019. This new satellite kit has a reduced parts-count and is easier to build than its predecessor. Interorbital’s engineers have succeeded in merging the original TubeSat kit 1.0 version’s power management, microcontroller, and communications boards onto a single printed circuit board, substantially expanding the satellites' open interior space to accommodate larger payloads. The new model represents a complete rebuild of the 1.0 version of the satellite kit.

TubeSat 2.0 maintains its all-circuit board chassis construction, but with a simplified assembly procedure. The addition of precision laser-cut aluminum rings allows the builder to simply bolt the solar PCB boards into position. All of these modifications contribute to reducing the satellite weight, simplifying assembly, and increasing the mass allowance of the builder's experiment. TubeSat 2.0 will also be available with or without a launch to a 310-km (192_mi) polar orbit, on an Interorbital NEPTUNE launch vehicle.

The upgraded 2.0 versions of the satellite kits include the hardware updates listed below. Satellite builders who want to buy and reserve a TubeSat 2.0 kit in advance can do so now, and enjoy a $500-off pre-release price. For pre-sales of the TubeSat 2.0 kit, please contact Interorbital Systems.

IOS TubeSat 1.0

At this time, a limited number of TubeSat 1.0 satellite kits are still available at the old price. Each TubeSat 1.0 kit includes an aluminum chassis, printed circuit board (PCB) Gerber Files, solar cells, batteries, a transceiver, antennas, an Arduino microcontroller, plus a space for the builders application or experiment. Satellite kit-and-launch packages include a launch to LEO on an Interorbital NEPTUNE Series Rocket.

IOS TubeSat

Photo of TubeSat 2.0

TubeSat 2.0 Kit: Specifications and Upgrades

- Icosagon-shaped chassis: constructed from laser-cut aluminum rings and PCBs

- Printed circuit boards (PCBs)

- Electronic components, 4 Mbits FRAM Memory, Atmega 2560 microcontroller, integrated micro-USB port

- 9-degree-of-freedom inertial module (with magnetometer)

- Extra solar power: 18 durable 178mW solar cells

- 3 Lithium Ion batteries (with holding clips and temperature sensors); longer life

- Improved power-management and charging control

- 1.5W high-efficiency radio transceiver with built-in amplifier

- Dipole communications antenna

- Compatibility with Arduino IDE

- 2 sub-miniature deployment switches

- Launch to polar Low Earth Orbit: optional



IOS CubeSat and TubeSats

Image of TubeSat 2.0 in Orbit

TubeSat 2.0 Kit: Purchase Options

Kit Name Payload Mass Price per unit
TubeSat 2.0: no launch 0.75 kg $6,200 (academic)
TubeSat 2.0 with launch 0.75 kg $12,400 (academic)

Prices apply only to academic purchases. Commercial customers should contact IOS for pricing. TubeSats can also be ordered in 2U, 3U, and 4U configurations, which consist of two, three, or four TubeSats connected in series. 2U, 3U, and 4U TubeSats have double, triple, and quadruple the mass allowances of a 1U TubeSat. Prices are also doubled, tripled, or quadrupled for 2U, 3U, and 4U TubeSat kits respectively. If you wish to purchase a satellite kit or if you have any questions, please call 661.965.0771 or send an email to ios@interorbital.com.

IOS TubeSat

A partially assembled IOS TubeSat

TubeSat 1.0 Kit: Specifications

- OD: 8.94 cm, ID: 8.56 cm, Length: 12.7 cm

- Printed circuit board (PCB) Gerber files

- Electronic components

- 50x 2.52 Volt 31 mA solar cells

- Lithium Ion 3.6 Volt battery

- Radio transceiver (requires authorized radio frequency allocation)

- Dipole communications antenna

- Arduino 5 mini microcontroller

- Launch to polar Low Earth Orbit included



IOS CubeSat and TubeSats

TubeSat 1.0s built by the Mexican Space Collective and their CubeSat Mock-up

TubeSat 1.0 Kit: Purchase Options

Kit Model Payload Mass Price per unit
1U TubeSat 0.75 kg $8,000 (academic)
2U TubeSat 1.5 kg $16,000 (academic)
3U TubeSat 2.25 kg $24,000 (academic)
4U TubeSat 3 kg $32,000 (academic)

Prices apply only to academic purchases. Commercial customers should contact IOS for pricing. TubeSats can also be ordered in 2U, 3U, and 4U configurations, which consist of two, three, or four TubeSats connected in series. 2U, 3U, and 4U TubeSats have double, triple, and quadruple the mass allowances of a 1U TubeSat. Prices are also doubled, tripled, or quadrupled for 2U, 3U, and 4U TubeSat kits respectively. If you wish to purchase a satellite kit or if you have any questions, please call 661.965.0771 or send an email to ios@interorbital.com.

Team Tancredo

Team members from the Tancredo Middle School in Ubatuba, Brazil

IOS TubeSat 1.0 Customers

Tancredo Sat-1, an IOS TubeSat kit assembled by students from the Tancredo Middle School in Ubatuba, Brazil, was launched to the ISS by a Japanese H2 rocket and deployed from the Kibo module in January, 2017. The school group was supported by the Brazilian Institute of Space Research (INPE), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), and Interorbital Systems engineers. It was the first TubeSat to be placed in orbit.

The satellite carried an audio recording device as payload, which transmitted an audio clip chosen by a contest among the school's students. Nearly 100 students participated in the construction of the satellites by soldering small components and designing circuits for their applications. Also included in the payload was an INPE simplified Langmuir probe, which studied plasma bubble formation in the ionosphere.