running since 2020

Number of students:

Project introduction

The Atmospheric Polar Transmission Alignment Satellite (APTAS) is the first student CubeSat developed at Luleå University of Technology. The project’s goal is to design, build, test and operate a 1U CubeSat for scientific and educational purposes whilst paving the way for future generations of students who want to develop their own CubeSats!

In the future, relevant information regarding the satellite’s signal and orbital parameters will be found here.




The Satellite






The Umbilical board is the top of the satellite stack and interfaces with our debug and testing equipment. It is also digitizing the satellite’s sun sensors signals. The board was designed and assembled by our students themselves.

The EISCAT Calibration Transmitter (ECAT) is the main payload of the satellite. It generates a 233 MHz reference signal which will be used to calibrate the phased array antennas of EISCAT’s Next Generation Geospace Rader, EISCAT 3D. Also this part of the satellite is made by our students, orientated to the requirements given by EISCAT.

The Camera is the secondary payload of the satellite and an of-the-shelf component that we have integrated into our satellite. It will be used to take pictures of Earth’s surface from above. These pictures will be used by LTU for scientific purposes.

We use a Step-up board to align connections within the satellite. This is necessary, as the limited space on board of the CubeSat makes the wireing a bit complicated. Also this component was fully develope by our students.

The satellite is powered by the Electrical Power System (EPS), also a COTS component that we have integrated into the satellites design. It includes the satellite’s batteries and distributes power to the other components of the satellite.

A Transceiver receives telecommands from our ground station.

Our Onboard Computer (OBC) serves as the brain of our satellite and is installed on the Motherboard.

Our Antenna at the bottom of the satellite is used for transmission of the ECAT signal as well as for reception of telecommands.

Primary Payload

ECAT board

developed according to EISCATs requirements

generates a precise 233 MHz reference signal which will be used for antenna calibration of EISCAT 3D

designed, manufactured and assembled completly by our students Kiruna

Secondary Payload


additional payload for the satellite

testing our capabilities of taking pictures of earth and auroras from orbit

Our Teams

Mechanical & Electrical

  • our engineering team, that actually builds the satellite
  • they design and manufacture the satellite’s components and integrate them
  • the team also tests the system at whole as well as all its subsystems through their paces


  • our Communications team makes sure, that our satellite listens to us
  • they are devoloping a ground station at the university’s campus
  • they implement and test telecommands  and the satellites communication


  • responsible for designing the software of the satellite
  • taking care of onboard data handling
  • writing the attitude control software to keep the satellite in its place

Contact us