Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Jordi Puig-Suari


On February 13, 2012, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo flew three Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployers (P-PODs), carrying seven European University CubeSats sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), on the Vega Maiden Flight. This was the first time CubeSats shared a ride to space with other payloads on an ESA-owned launch opportunity. In order to meet launch requirements, it must be proven through proper documentation that the P-POD would operate properly and not interfere with the launch vehicle or other payloads on the mission. This thesis outlines the program flow, required documentation, and issues encountered during the launch campaign to get the P-PODs properly qualified and integrated on to the Vega launch vehicle. This mission required Cal Poly to create several unique solutions, which were only implemented for this mission, in order to meet unique technical requirements and programmatic goals. As a result of this mission’s success the ESA Education Office implemented the Fly Your Satellite Program, which has continued to support and launch CubeSats developed by European universities.