Unicorn-2 Platform

Version 2 of The UNICORN PLATFORM - Doing More with Less

In partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), Alba Orbital has developed an advanced 3p PocketQube platform called Unicorn-2. The goal of the platform is to get 3U cubesat performance on a PocketQube. We save satellite operators over 50% of the cost by using Unicorn-2 instead of a standard 3U cubesat for Hardware and Launch.

If you are interested in using the Unicorn-2 platform for your mission, please get in touch: contact@pocketqubeshop.com


Innovations And Features

Internet Of Things (IOT)/Communications Configuration

Earth Observation/Remote Sensing Configuration


Payload volume

One of our key insights from Unicorn-1 is that pico-satellites should be integrated instead of modular. There are 7 billion smartphones globally and all manufacturers have chosen integration as a design philosophy. Unicorn's key subsystems, EPS, OBC and ADCS are all integrated into one PCB. This allows the majority of the inside volume of the satellite to be used for the valuable thing.. payload!


No longer Power Constrained

Unicorn-2 boasts the worlds first Pico or Nano-satellite Quadruple deployable solar panel. This creates in-excess of 19 watts peak power, with standard missions generating 10-15 watts on orbit average. Payloads have upto 5 watts available per orbit via a 3v3, 5, or 12v line rated for upto 5 amps. Our nominal configuration has 14.8 watts of storage available via two Lithium-Ion batteries, mounted externally to increase payload volume.


Active Pointing

Alba Orbital have designed and integrated the worlds first Attitude Determination and Control System for a PocketQube class satellite. This allows worst case point accuracy of 5 degrees. The platform is equipped with two 2 axis sunsensors, 4 Light Dependent Resistors, 3 brushless motors with reaction wheels and 3 axis magnetometer and magnetorquers.


Robust Comms

Alba Orbital have developed two customs radios and antennas for Unicorn-2. Our UHF and S-Band modules can downlink at upto 200kb/s, opening the opportunity to fly more data intensive payloads.

UNICORN-2 Optical

Suits all missions

We have designed Unicorn-2 to accommodate all types of payloads. Our nominal payload is an optical payload, we are planning to fly in 2018. This payload has 22m gsd from a 500km orbit (better gsd than landsat). Other viable missions include ADS-B, AIS, Connecting Internet Of Things (IOT), GNSS-R, In Orbit Demostration/Validation (IOD/IOV) etc.

Design Reviewed

Quality assurance is very important to Alba Orbital. Unicorn-2 has been supported by the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA has reviewed our design and documentation multiple times throughout our development phase to ensure high quality throughout our processes. Unicorn-2 platform has passed CDR with ESA.


Getting it launched

Unicorn-2 complies with the PocketQube standard interface. Alba Orbital have been developed both a 6p and a 96p deployer to release this platform and others into orbit. We run annual clusters to fly customers sats to orbit, for industry low prices. - Find out more


Suits all budgets

Unicorn-2 starts from 199k euro, with launch from 60k euro (free launch for u2 customers who sign up before 31st of December 2018). This is approximately 50% the cost of a similar 3u cubesat mission with launch.

If you would like to know more or reserve your platform, email: contact@pocketqubeshop.com

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Custom Payloads

Alba and its partners has experience building payloads such as RF receiver, transceivers, fixed and deployable antennas, optical imagers etc. We can bring this experience to help you mission succeed.



The first mission to fly the Unicorn-2 platform is our internal tech demo optical mission called Unicorn-2a. U2a will launch on the Vector-R launch vehicle late 2018/early 2019 via Alba Cluster 1.


Integrate Quicker

When you buy a Unicorn-2, we will ship you a free standard backplane (EPS/OBC/ADCS) to begin developing your payload quicker, reducing integration headaches. This allows payload and platform to be produced in parallel, saving time and money for the customer.