APSCO Cubesat Competition


The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation (APSCO) is an organization composed of China, Iran, Turkey, Thailand, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Peru, aiming to facilitate the exchange of resources in science, technology, and space applications among its members. In April 2023, they launched the APSCO CubeSat Competition (ACC) project, designed to fund the development of an engineering model for a standard 3U CubeSat by a university from each member country. Currently, PUCP and two other universities are competing for the funding to represent Peru.

Led by INRAS and Professor MSc. Neils Vilchez, the initiative is called the “PUCP INTISAT Initiative,” where INTISAT stands for “Ideate New Technologies for Innovative SATellites,” with the goal of involving students in satellite development. The team, comprised of approximately 50 undergraduate students from various fields such as Mechatronics, Physics, Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, Telecommunications, and Civil Engineering, must organize into subgroups to develop each satellite subsystem and payload.

The team receives guidance and support from INRAS researchers and has access to their laboratories and infrastructure.

The proposed experiments or payloads include:

  • Study and detection of light pollution in astronomical observations due to the proliferation of mega constellations in low Earth orbits.
  • Study and determination of the satellite’s ephemeris using optical methods, Doppler effect, and global satellite navigation systems.
  • Miniaturization of a lensless microscopy system based on sub-pixel scanning for studying the growth of a potato microbe in microgravity conditions.
  • Application of a low-resolution image super-resolution method based on machine learning by training a model for inference in orbit.

These payloads necessitate the satellite bus to consist of a structure, a command and data handling unit, an energy accumulation and distribution system, a communication system, an orientation determination and control system, and a thermal control system.