A CubeSat is, by definition, a 10 cm cube with and a total mass less than or equal to 1.33 kg. The exponential increase in CubeSat interest in its nearly two decade-long existence can be attributed to a few primary factors. The CubeSat design is a well-defined standard, allowing universities to quickly implement a CubeSat program and integrate it into its curriculum. Having a standardized launch platform, called a P-POD, allows the CubeSat community to request for launch opportunities, typically as secondary payloads on commercial flights, long before the internal design of any CubeSat is finished.
NASA and NSF have both started research programs that fund CubeSat missions for scientific objectives. Dr. Barjatya was funded as an instrument PI on the NSF DICE mission and has been recently funded on the NASA LLITED mission. Both of these are dual 1.5U CubeSat missions.
Brief introductions and a few pictures for each of these missions is provided in subpages.