Aachen’s Qube In Space

Space Research with miniature satellites

Project AQUIS

Project AQUIS (Aachen's QUbe In Space) is our picosatellite project based on the PocketQube standard, which requires the main volume of it to be a cube as small as 5x5x10 cm and its weight to be only 500g. Our mission is to take our very own pictures of the beautiful planet Earth from space, and for that we are set to design one of the most advanced 2p PocketQubes ever created.

Systems on board:
  • A self-developed propulsion system for collision avoidance and deorbit maneuvers and compensation of aerodynamic drag.
  • An electrical power system to gather, store and distribute sufficient electrical power for all systems that need it.
  • An on-board computer to operate the satellite semi-autonomously based on on-board data and ground requests.
  • A communication system to transfer data or pictures taken and receive commands from the ground operations team.
  • A deployment system to activate the satellite once placed in orbit and switch from its compact launch configuration to its functional configuration.
  • An attitude control system so that the solar cells are pointed to the Sun for energy generation and the camera is pointed to the Earth.


5x5x10 cm
0.5 kg
500 km


2025 with Alba Orbital


+ Take snapshots of the earth
+ Space Team Aachen's first object in space



The mission is planned to start in 2025 and is going to last approximately 9 months. The satellite will orbit at about the same height as the ISS and will move with a velocity of about 7 km/s. With this speed, a full orbit lasts only about 1 hour 30 minutes, slightly more than half of which is spent in sunlight, and the rest in Earth’s shadow. Our main objective is to take pictures of the earth and transfer them to our ground station. Moreover we hope to successfully perform a deorbit maneuver with our innovative propulsion system at the end of our mission. This would contribute to sustainable practice in space exploration.

Bones and Muscles

This will be no ordinary and conventional structure. We aim to bring the number of our structural components to a minimum and to integrate each subsystem with no additional connection elements. We achieve this by printing (SLS) the structure with aluminium alloy.

Life Source

The electrical power system uses deployable solar panels with highly efficient solar cells. Additionally, it will store the power needed for satellite operations and distribute it via the voltage bus to every system onboard. The on-board computer is programmed to operate autonomously until it receives commands from the ground station.


We are developing an active attitude control system using magnetorquers and a reaction wheel. The goal is to control the attitude of the satellite for optimal charging and for precise pointing of the camera and the antennas on board.


Our self-developed propulsion system is the greatest challenge for the team and carries the greatest innovation and scientific potential. It is not critical for the mission's success, yet it gives the satellite the freedom to perform collision avoidance and deorbit maneuvers on its own and to compensate for the aerodynamic drag, prolonging the life of the mission.

Join The Team!

Check out our open positions and write us an email toaquis@sta.rwth-aachen.de
Open Positions