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Cubesats "Dead On Arrival" - Is this the Only Option?

Article just published in the Space News "Martin Langer of the Institute of Astronautics at the Technical University of Munich presented an analysis of 178 cubesats launched through mid-2014. Of them, 18 percent were “dead on arrival”; that is, they failed to operate at all after launch. “That’s way too high,” he said.The solution to improving reliability of cubesats, Langer said, was not through the use more traditional mission assurance techniques or higher reliability components, both of which can impose much higher costs on cubesat programs. He advocated instead for more system-level testing of spacecraft to uncover problems prior to launch.He also recommended greater sharing of information about cubesat failures among spacecraft developers. “For cubesats, we have to accept that failure is an option. We have to learn from that,” he said. “We have to provide our lessons learned to the community.”

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