Ross Bannatyne, Senseeker Engineering
A CubeSat is a miniature satellite that conforms to a standard specification of 10 cm on each side and weighs no more than 1.33 kilograms. Often these cubes are concatenated to form larger structures. This standardization in satellite technology has provoked a significant growth in their use, as economies of scale in components, subsystems, launch equipment, and logistics have enabled many cost-effective new ventures.
While the rest of the engineering world has been developing embedded systems using the ARM microcontroller unit (MCU) architecture for many years, the high-reliability (hi-rel) market has been slow to adopt it. That is a pity because the biggest benefit of using an ARM-based microcontroller is the ease of development that ARM offers, by virtue of the large supporting ecosystem of tools.