may 3-4, 2018

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Lunarcubes Workshop will be held again this year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (May 3 and May 4) immediately following the Cubesat Developers Workshop (to be held April 30 to May 2), thanks to their continued sponsorship! And, for even more excitement, immediately following our workshop, after a weekend of wine-tasting, you can attend the Interplanetary Smallsat Conference to be held at Caltech (May 7-9).

It is an exciting time to be holding an interactive workshop to propose solutions and identify challenges for cubesats in deep space, as we move closer to 1) the launch of MarCO with the INSIGHT mission to Mars, and 2) the deployment of the Lucky 13 from EM1, several of which will ultimately be science experiments in lunar orbit. In addition, NASA has funded 20 early advanced deep space cubesat concept studies through the PSDS3 program. Commercial launchers, carriers, lunar orbiters, and lunar landers will very likely be available in the very near future to take cubesat payloads beyond LEO, and many space programs, including NASA, are planning to return to the lunar surface and/or orbit. As a result, more thinking is going on about how more demanding science requirements can be met with the cubesat paradigm.  

Meeting Goals

As before, our goal is always to bring together the scientists and instrumentalists who drive requirements with those who build components, develop infrastructures, and who must know these needs and meet those requirements so we can break new ground way beyond LEO! Scientists with ideas for deep space investigations and instruments, here is your chance to meet with the many engineering folks and state of the art designers of small spacecraft and payloads, who attend the Cubesat Developers Workshop! Come and provide challenging requirements!  Design challenge topics of special interest are:

  1. Challenges, Solutions, and Lessons Learned from those currently preparing for launches beyond LEO
  2. Approaches for effective technical data management with very constrained bandwidth and funding
  3. Concepts and Challenges for compact instrument packages utilizing commercial lunar transportation
  4. Concepts and challenges for multi-platform cubesat concepts beyond LEO for any purpose
  5. Development models for the cubesat paradigm, examples of approaches, their successes, limitations, and remaining challenges, in overcoming obstacles in exploration and technology development.  


This is a small (30-40) interactive workshop in which all participate (in small groups and the larger group). We will have more time available for the workshop this year, so the program, though still focusing on hands-on interactions for design challenges (concepts and solutions) for several topics of interest, will include a small number of short formal presentations of potential deep space cubesat concepts, technology, or engineering solutions relevant to the design challenges. Those wishing to present should submit an abstract to the technical program chair (, using the abstract form which you can download here by February 20. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and include answers to the questions asked on the form.  We welcome suggestions for design challenges and willingness to lead challenges. Please email these intentions to the technical program chair ( We will focus on several areas of interest with emphasis indicated by attendees, with the final program development based on abstracts.  

We are especially interested in recruiting participants in PSDS3 studies or others with concepts for deep space cubesats who have already wrestled with the challenges of meeting science requirements, and attempted to arrive at solutions, as well as those in the midst of building the first deep space cubesats who are ready to share lessons learned.


You will need to register by submitting the 7th LCW registration form which you can download here, filling it out and emailing it to the technical program chair for the LunarCubes Workshop ( For those who use the NASA travel forecasting system, use the 7th Annual Lunarcubes Workshop NCTS number for our workshop. NASA folks considering to attend any conferences or workshops must make that request 90 days in advance: that is by January 30 for the LunarCubes Workshop.  Our registration deadline is February 20, although we will take 'late' requests as long as space allows.


To amplify our efforts, we will generate a white paper after the meeting, with some form of elaboration of issues raised and resolved or requiring further collaboration to resolve. Also, we hope to form collaborative cross-disciplinary teams from our discussions.

Next Steps

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.

Deadline Notes

Travel Request 'placeholder' in NASA Travel System by January 30. Abstracts (no fee) form (300 words or less) submitted by February 20 (later considered as program permits). Registration (no fee) form submitted by February 20 (later considered on a space available basis).