The 31st AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, being held Aug. 5-10 in Logan, Utah, is expected to attract roughly 2,500 attendees from more than 40 countries. NGA Director Robert Cardillo’s keynote address is this year’s big draw. SpaceNews is producing the exclusive digital show dailies during all four exhibit days.
As the number of small satellites seeking launch continues to grow, new opportunities are emerging fly those satellites as secondary payloads on other launches as well as tools to identify those opportunities.
As the number of cubesats and other small satellites grows, experts advise that some degree of industry self-regulation will be needed to avoid collisions that could lead to more restrictive government regulations.
Teledyne Brown offers ISS platform for testing spacecraft parts in orbit before flying them for real
Teledyne Brown Engineering plans to install a hyperspectral imager built by the German Aerospace Center, DLR, in the firm’s International Space Station observatory in March.
Clyde Space, a company well-known for manufacturing cubesats, commissioned its first ground station with an antenna installed on the roof of the company’s headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland.
A British small satellite manufacturer and a startup company are partnering on a mission to fly a series of smallsats carrying hosted payloads of varying sizes.
Ursa Space Systems, a geospatial data and analytics company, announced plans to offer global reports on oil storage drawn from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data.
A Swiss company with plans to deploy 64 cubesat-class spacecraft by 2021 to support Internet of Things applications has raised an initial $3 million funding round.
Is the smallsat industry in the midst of a bubble? Yes and no, according to one group of experts.
The company that played a leading role in promoting hosted payloads and sold excess space on Iridium Communications satellites, is turning its attention to small satellites “because that’s where the market is."
Audacy is seeking to establish a commercial version of NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, which transmits communications from satellites to ground stations.
"We are seeking your input,” said Kimberly Robinson, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s SLS secondary payloads manager. “We want to make flexible options and accommodate the type of cubesats you want to fly in the future.”
Small satellites need their own propulsion systems because most of the widely used chemical and electric propulsion technologies don’t fit well on shoebox-size satellites and they are difficult to scale down. Natalya Bailey, co-founder of Accion Systems, is well aware of this problem.
York Space Systems, a Colorado startup planning to mass manufacture standard spacecraft buses, is joining forces with Accion Systems to offer customers the option of integrating Accion’s ion engine with their satellites.
Facing increasing pressure from both industry and Congress, the head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency said the federal government is taking steps to streamline the licensing process for commercial remote sensing satellites.
“Our idea is to invest the data into the U.S. economy, U.S. companies, universities and inventors,” NGA Director Robert Cardillo said Aug. 7 at the annual Conference on Small Satellites. “We give data and get back data and technology in return.”
As cubesats move from technology demonstrations and university projects to operational missions for companies and government agencies, ensuring those spacecraft are sufficiently reliable is a growing issue for the industry.