Aalto-1, multi-payload CubeSat: Design, integration and launch

J. Praks, M. Rizwan Mughal*, R. Vainio, P. Janhunen, J. Envall, P. Oleynik, A. Näsilä, H. Leppinen, P. Niemelä, A. Slavinskis, J. Gieseler, P. Toivanen, T. Tikka, T. Peltola, A. Bosser, G. Schwarzkopf, N. Jovanovic, B. Riwanto, A. Kestilä, A. PunkkinenR. Punkkinen, H. P. Hedman, T. Säntti, J. O. Lill, J. M.K. Slotte, H. Kettunen, A. Virtanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The design, integration, testing and launch of the first Finnish satellite Aalto-1 is briefly presented in this paper. Aalto-1, a three-unit CubeSat, launched into Sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of approximately 500 km, is operational since June 2017. It carries three experimental payloads: Aalto Spectral Imager(AaSI), Radiation Monitor (RADMON) and Electrostatic Plasma Brake (EPB). AaSI is a hyperspectral imager in visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavelength bands, RADMON is an energetic particle detector and EPB is a de-orbiting technology demonstration payload. The platform was designed to accommodate multiple payloads while ensuring sufficient data, power, radio, mechanical and electrical interfaces. The design strategy of platform and payload subsystems consists of in-house development and commercial subsystems. The CubeSat Assembly, Integration & Test (AIT) followed Flatsat-Engineering-Qualication Model (EQM)-Flight Model (FM) model philosophy for qualification and acceptance. The paper briefly describes the design approach of platform and payload subsystems, their integration and test campaigns and spacecraft launch. The paper also describes the ground segment & services that were developed by Aalto-1 team.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-383
Number of pages14
JournalActa Astronautica
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Aalto spectral imager
  • Aalto-1
  • CubeSat
  • Electrostatic plasma brake
  • Hyperspectral
  • Radiation
  • Radiation monitor


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