The LunarCubes Workshop is back as the LunarCubes Working Group meeting, to be held in the same time frame and at the same campus as the CubeSat Developers Workshop at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on April 25 and 28.  Our sessions will 'book end' the CubeSat Developers Workshop, with one full session the afternoon of Tuesday, April 25, when traditionally a number of small group meetings are held, and another full session on the afternoon of Friday, April 28.


Meeting Registration: There will be no separate registration for the LunarCubes meeting, but you will need to register for the CubeSat Developers Workshop. You can use the CubeSat Developers Workshop website to register, search for lodging, and understand logistics. For those who use the NASA travel forecasting system, use the CubeSat Developers Workshop NCTS number for our workshop. See below for further details.


Meeting Description: We will focus on up to three critical ‘challenge’ areas. As always, our goal is to bring together scientists and instrumentalists who drive requirements with those who build components and develop infrastructures and must know these needs and meet the requirements so we can break new ground way beyond LEO!  I’m encouraged by the fact that, when I attended the Third International Workshop on Instrumentation for Planetary Missions in November 2016, for the first time I heard many science instrument developer colleagues publicly expressing the need to include engineers in such meetings in the future. Scientists with ideas for deep space investigations and instruments: Here is your chance to meet with the many engineering folks, state of the art designers of small spacecraft and payloads, who come to the CubeSat Developers Workshop! Come and provide challenging requirements!

The Tuesday 'before' session will focus on identifying and examining progress in meeting needs and requirements for essential science investigations in the selected critical areas, and the Friday 'after' session will focus on identifying and examining potential solutions and remaining challenges in each of these areas.   These will be largely informal, hands-on sessions with small group work and large group discussions, with several brief presentations illustrating requirements and challenges in topic areas to kick them off.  We will use the CubeSat Development Workshop sessions to become more aware of ongoing work that can provide further insight into solutions for the ‘design challenges’.

Several topics are being considered for ‘critical’ needs. Final decisions on the three selected will be made based on inputs from attendees in the next couple of months, as described below.  Compact instruments/instrument package and multi-platform concepts representing a cross-section of disciplines (geoscience, astrophysics, heliophysics), venues (surface, orbit), and targets (Moon, Lagrange points, asteroids, Mars) will be utilized in each category as ‘approaches’ and ‘challenges’, as relevant, to the largest extent possible (requiring inputs from attendees).

  • Thermal design, one of the major CubeSat challenges, examples, state of the art components and materials, compact design and battery challenges and solutions.
  • Onboard and Ground System data management, state of the art hardware and software, communication, access and archiving infrastructure, examples of approaches, challenges, and solutions.
  • Modes for transportation, transportation infrastructure, needs and requirements, current capabilities, impact on resources.
  • Development models for the CubeSat paradigm, examples of approaches and their successes, limitations, and remaining challenges in overcoming obstacles in exploration and technology development.

Attendee inputs:

You must register for the CubeSat Developers Workshop.

You must send an email indicating your intention to attend the LunarCubes Working Group meeting before February 20th, 2017. Earlier would be MUCH appreciated. When you do so, you should BRIEFLY address the following questions in POWERPOINT SLIDE format. This is meant to be used for planning purposes as well as potentially for a brief exchange during the workshop.  

  1. What would you design/build/utilize or are you designing/building/utilizing in the CubeSat realm?
  2. What is the subject matter expertise/viewpoint you can share with workshop attendees? 
  3. What do you see as major challenges in designing/building utilizing the CubeSat paradigm in cislunar space and beyond for your application?
  4. What are potential solutions you would like to share in designing/building/utilizing the CubeSat paradigm in cislunar space and beyond?
  5. What would you like to learn (insights, solutions) from workshop attendees?

We’re also looking for folks who can lead discussions in any of the areas indicated as critical needs. Some of you I’ve already contacted about this. 


Meeting Products:  To amplify our efforts, we will generate a white paper after the meeting with some form of elaboration of original inputs form these five questions. Also, we hope to form collaborative cross-disciplinary teams from our discussions.  


Next Step: Please send an email indicating your interest as soon as possible!  We need to estimate how many will attend AND how many would like to present/lead a design challenge.  Feedback on the focus topics would be appreciated.


If you are attending the workshop, you will be given a parking permit at the K1 lot before 9:30am. 

Otherwise, parking permits will need to be purchased on Tuesday, April 25, and on Friday, April 28. 

(Here's a map)