Meet APTAS – a student project that will contribute to the aurora research in northern Sweden. APTAS is the first student CubeSat developed at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. The goal is to design, build, test and operate a 1 U CubeSat for scientific and educational purposes whilst paving the way for future generations of students who want to develop their own CubeSats.

Months until launch
Photo: NASA

What is a CubeSat?

A CubeSat is a satellite in the nano-size class that comprises one or more 10x10x10 cm cubes. The CubeSat standard was developed by CalPoly and offers a relatively cheap and easy way of designing and building a satellite. The market for CubeSats is growing rapidly with many CubeSats being developed by both universities and private initiatives. CubeSats are often used to demonstrate new technology or provide scientific data to groups of researchers, but these small satellites are also increasingly taking over the roles of larger spacecraft.


An antenna to be used for calibration of the planned EISCAT 3D research project, a new phased-array antenna system located in northern Sweden, Norway and Finland.

A nadir pointing camera taking photos of auroras while flying over the poles, which is developed with help from The institute of Space Physics.


The work of Project APTAS started out during the spring in 2019 with the aim to launch the satellite into space during autumn 2021. 


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