UNISAT-5 mission

UNISAT-5 is the first satellite designed, built and launched by GAUSS Srl, the private Company that inherits the experience gained with the UniSat program at the School of Aerospace Engineering of the University of Rome “Sapienza.

The launch of UniSat-5 satellite, boarded on the Dnepr rocket, took place on 21 November 2013 from Yasny cosmodrome in Russia, marking an historical event in the world of CubeSats and Nanosatellites.




The spacecraft was inserted into a near-SSO orbit with an altitude of 634 km at 07:25:48 UTC.



UniSat-5 carried four CubeSats:

and four PocketQubes:

These CubeSats and PocketQubes have all (except one, Dove-4) been released into orbit from the UNISAT-5 satellite, launched by the Dnepr rocket.

UNISAT-5 Mission logoUniSat-5 mission logo

Mission objectives

  • Launch of CubeSats using PEPPOD – PUCPSAT,  I-CUBE 1,– HUMSAT-D, – Dove-4
  • Launch of PocketQubeSats using MRFOD (with Morehead State University): – T-LogoQube, 50$Sat (Eagle-1 and Eagle-2) – QBScout, – WREN
  •  IOD/IOV Technological Tests (CoverGlass, OBDH, ADCS)


  • PEPPOD and MRFOD systems correctly released 4 PocketQubeSats and 3 CubeSats.
  • PocketQubes have been successfully launched in Space for the first time
  • 6 out of 7 satellites have been received
  • DOVE-4 was not deployed (safety procedure was not applied after customer request)
The following facts reveal the significance of this event:
  • First launch of CubeSats and PocketQubes from another nanosatellite
  • First launch of PocketQubes ever
  • First Peruvian satellites, PUCP-Sat-1 and PocketPUCP-Sat (that will be released from PUCP-Sat-1)
  • First test of Pulsed Plasma Thruster on a picosatellite (WREN by Sta.do.Ko)

In the last week of integration, the CubeSats and Pocketqubes were integrated on board the UNISAT-5, inside the PEPPOD (GAUSS CubeSat deployer system) and MRFOD (designed by Morehead State University, KY, USA, in collaboration with GAUSS Srl) deployers.

Here are some pictures of the integration phases in Rome.


UniSat-5 in the clean room during integration

            UniSat-5 in the clean room during integration

UNISAT-5 Payloads

UNISAT-5 transmits overall health status (battery and solar panels info) as well as attitude sensors data back to any AMSAT (amateur satellite) radio operator who wants to connect.




Country: Perù

Developer: Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Perù

Project Manager: Prof. Jorge Heraud


PUCP-Sat 1 is the first Peruvian satellite built by the Institute for Radio Astronomy of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (INRAS-PUCP).

The 1270 g satellite is built on the 1U-CubeSat form factor. It transmits temperature readings from 19 internal sensors and will deploy the 97 g Pocket-PUCP femtosatellite.




Country: Pakistan

Developer: Institute of Space Technology Islamabad

Project Manager: Rehan Mahmood

1U CubeSat

Designing, developing and launching a pico-satellite provides students with an opportunity of hands-on experience of satellite development. Primary mission goals of ICUBE-1 are to contact the satellite via uplink and collect its health data from different sensors via downlink.




Country: Spain

Developer: University of Vigo

Project Manager: Prof. Fernando Aguado Agelet

1U CubeSat

HumSat-D is a standard CubeSat of 10 cm side length and a mass of 1 kg designed and developed at the University of Vigo (UVigo), Spain. HumSat-D is the first (hence, a demonstrator) satellite of the future HumSat constellation.




Country:  USA

Developer: Cosmogia Inc. / Planet Labs

Project Manager: Mike Safyan

3U CubeSat

Dove-4 is a technology demonstration mission to test technologies and operations for future Earth Observation satellites.



PocketQubes are pico-class satellites (mass between 0.1 and 1 kg) invented by Professor Robert J. Twiggs (Morehead State University) that are envisioned to fly in constellations and perform a variety of functions from communications to Earth remote sensing and space research.


Eagle-1 and Eagle-2Space Science Center

 (AKA BeakerSat-1 BeakerSat-2)


Country: USA, Kentucky

Developer: Morehead State University

Project Manager: Prof. Robert J. Twiggs

1,5p and 2,5p PocketQubeSat

Eagle-1 and Eagle-2 spacecraft are designed to provide a component testbed for various spacecraft technologies, primarily among them being a de-orbit system that also increases the spacecraft radar cross section.  The Eagle series is among the first PocketQubes to be flown.




Country: USA

Developer: University of Maryland BC, LACO Lab

Project Manager: Ravi Deepack

2,5p PocketQubeSat

QBScout, is a 2,5p PocketQube boarding a fine sun sensor. One of its main goals is to measure dynamic altitude.




Country: Germany

Developer: StaDoKo

Project Manager: Sacha Tholl

1p PocketQubeSat

Produced by German startup STADOKO UG, this 1P PocketQube is the smallest and one of the most advanced satellites of its class. It has 4 pulsed plasma thrusters, a 3 axis reaction wheel and a color camera.