Nanosatellites are loosely defined as any satellite weighing less than 10 kilograms. CubeSats must also comply with a series of specific criteria that control factors such as their shape, size and weight.
CubeSats can come in various sizes, but they are all based on the standard CubeSat unit, namely a cube-shaped structure measuring 10x10x10 centimetres with a mass of somewhere between 1 and 1.33 kg. This unit is known as 1U. After the first few years, this modular unit was multiplied and larger nanosatellites are now common (1.5U, 2U, 3U or 6U). Today, new configurations are under development.
Nanosatellite development based on CubeSat standards guarantees ongoing and relatively inexpensive access to space, as well as a wide range of launch and space rocket options.
CubeSat standardisation opens up the possibility of using commercial electronic parts and the choice of numerous technology suppliers, thereby considerably cutting the costs of CubeSat engineering and development projects in comparison with other types of satellites.