The Cubesat standard was developed by the California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) and the Space Systems Development Laboratory of Stanford University. Its main purpose is to approach space research opportunities to universities; by defining a standard mechanical interface and deployment system for small satellites. Over 60 universities, high schools and industries are involved worldwide in the development of Cubesats, with specific payloads designed for solving a wide range of scientific, engineering and industrial problems.
The basic structure of a Cubesat (1U) is a 10cm wide cube with a mass of up to 1kg, which is designed to work autonomously. It is a solid and skeletonized structure made of aluminium whose weight can be reduced. The concept of double and triple Cubesats (2U and 3U), with dimensions of 10x10x20 and 10x10x30 respectively (these size increments also entail different increases in the mass of the device), have also been developed.