Design a CubeSat payload


In this challenge you design an experiment to be carried out on board a CubeSat nano-satellite. CubeSats are satellites that weigh only a few kilos and, despite their small size, are capable of great achievements! 


The KU Leuven student team, Aether is working on a re-entry CubeSat: this will make it possible for an experimental payload to survive the fiery return through the atmosphere. After a safe landing on Earth, the payload can be recovered so that the experimental results can be further analysed. But what kind of payload will it be? That is up to you! If you have an interesting idea for an experiment to be carried out in space, that makes good use of the re-entry possibilities of our satellite, then you can be the first passenger of the Aether CubeSat!Translated with (free version)

Expected results

  • Conceive and design a scientific experiment that makes good use of the return capability of the future Aether CubeSat.

  • The experiment should be as small as possible, with maximum dimensions of 10x10x5 cm (0.5 CubeSat Units), and as energy efficient as possible.

  • The experiment must be robust: resistant to the space environment, and the conditions of the return (increased temperature).


  • Suitable for a team of approx. 2 students (bachelor- and master level)
  • Estimated duration of 2 semesters