Alba Orbital Ltd & CRP Technology reveal the role of 3D printing in the largest PocketQube launch to date

The integration of 9 PocketQube satellites in a 3D printed deployer

The first time we heard about super small satellites called PocketQube, 3D printing materials and services provider CRP Technology supported Mini-Cubes LLC in the production of an entire satellite frame. The success of this mission led CRP Technology to deliver its services to other companies in the same field. One of these companies is Alba Orbital Ltd, a British company that builds PocketQube satellites.

The company is currently gearing up for the largest PocketQube launch to date as part of the Alba Cluster 3 mission, ‘That time of year’.

Alba Orbital will take customer satellites to orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle in December 2020 as part of a rideshare agreement. The company’s AlbaPod v2, a space proven PocketQube deployer will be used as part of the mission.

CRP Technology has entirely 3D printed the deployer using its Windform XT 2.0 high-performance composite material Carbon-fiber reinforced from Windform TOP-LINE family of composite materials.

We are very pleased that Alba Cluster 3 mission represents a historic event in PocketQube history, and that 3D printing along with Windform XT 2.0 composite material is part of it! We revolutionized the small sat arena, and now we are doing the same with the PocketQube world”, Tom Walkinshaw, Founder and CEO Alba Orbital said.

The cluster includes Turkey’s first pico-satellite, Grizu-263a which was designed by a team of engineering students from Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University and named in honour of the 1992 Kozlu coal mine disaster. The Grizu team are joined by other prestigious universities on the Alba Cluster 3 lineup such as TU Delft and Ariel University.

To outline the reason why TU Delft signed up to launch with Alba Orbital, Delfi-PQ team member, M. Ş. (Mehmet) Uludağ said: “Alba Orbital is the only company right now who have a qualified PocketQube Deployer and this gives you a certain confidence that your satellite will be deployed without any problems’’

Alba Orbital Cluster 3 is manifested on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and is scheduled for a December 2020 launch date with a target SSO (Polar) Orbit.

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