EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

SBUDNIC: lessons learned in implementing a CubeSat mission

Lorenzo Bigagli1 and Rick Fleeter2
Lorenzo Bigagli and Rick Fleeter
  • 1National Research Council of Italy - IIA, Firenze, Italy (
  • 2Brown University School of Engineering, Providence (RI), USA

The SBUDNIC project was a collaboration between The National Research Council of Italy and Brown University’s School of Engineering. The project also got support from D-Orbit, AMSAT-Italy, La Sapienza-University of Rome and NASA Rhode Island Space Grant.

This scientific cooperation started in January 2021 and aimed to improve techniques and skills in Earth observation and its applications, with particular focus on teaching, research and knowledge transfer, as well as to promote open access to documentation, software and other information and resources for developing Earth observation capabilities.

The project was led by a team of students, professors and researchers and involved the construction of a 3U CubeSat according to an open and agile approach, using mostly commercial components commonly used on Earth, including an Arduino processor and AA Energizer batteries. The satellite was designed to allow the download of low resolution images in the amateur radio band.

SBUDNIC was launched on May 25, 2022 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and was released into orbit at an altitude of about 525 kilometers by the ION Satellite Carrier platform of the Space logistics company D-Orbit.

As a New Space experiment, SBUDNIC has provided useful insights on several organizational, technological and regulatory aspects of the implementation of a CubeSat mission and confirmed the increasingly rapid and affordable accessibility of Space to the scientific and academic community.

We hope that the SBUDNIC project may be able to inspire some of the future engineers in universities, research and industry, in their effort to advance Space exploration, Earth observation techniques and innovative satellite technologies, tools that may prove of fundamental importance in addressing global challenges.

How to cite: Bigagli, L. and Fleeter, R.: SBUDNIC: lessons learned in implementing a CubeSat mission, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16127,, 2023.