Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


A satellite's final safehouse: The deployer

What happens after a rocket achieves orbit? How does a satellite stay safe during launch and what happens after they leave their final home, right before starting their mission in orbit? The answer is revealed during this talk.

PICOBUS, developed by the Libre Space Foundation, is an 8p PocketQube satellite deployer. It's a groundbreaking open-source deployer capable of storing and deploying up to 8 PocketQube Units while in orbit.

The first PICOBUS deployer was manufactured to fly onboard the maiden flight of Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket, carrying two sets of QUBIK satellites, which are our very own open-source PocketQube satellites. The first launch faced a setback with an explosion shortly after liftoff, posing a threat to our deployer and satellites. However, an interesting turn of events followed! This will be discussed during this talk.

The second launch attempt on October 1, 2022, was a success. PICOBUS flawlessly deployed all the satellites into space, marking a significant achievement for the open-source community. It's a rare instance of open-source technology making it to orbit, which is quite remarkable.

Over the past year, Libre Space Foundation has been working on the second version of PICOBUS. This updated version is a more adaptable and lighter design, incorporating various advanced features and mechanisms to enhance its capabilities.

During this talk, we will discuss all about open source in space, the open source tools used to achieve that and the difficulties faced during this journey.

Our Vision is an Open and Accessible Outer Space for all. We believe that space should be claimed the libre (open source) way. Our Mission is to promote, advance and develop libre (free and open source) technologies and knowledge for space. To do that we design, develop and deliver space related projects ranging from Ground Station equipment to global monitoring Networks and of course, satellites!


Thanos Patsas