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Astreos Utah SmallSat chronicles

As August reaches its end, let's have a look back on the major event of this month in the #SmallSat world: #SmallSatConference in the USA. Astreos COO Clémence Cambourian represented our company and came back from Utah with key takeaways on the latest trends and thoughts on this conference.

Never been to Utah SmallSat? Give it a go!

Some in the SmallSat ecosystem might wonder whether travelling all the way to Utah is worth the time and investment. The answer is definitely yes for the Astreos team! Although an American event on American soil, this event is widely visited by international professionals. There are 3300 participants from 40 countries and continents representing companies accross the whole satellite development cycle, including many European and Asian organisations (Japan, Taiwan, etc.). This blend is an endless source of possibility for matchmaking!

For those willing to learn about pure #MissionManagement, we recommend taking part in the full 2 days of University conferences occurring on the first week-end. These conferences get the audience to discover a lot about new technologies development and open discussions are a gold mine of information on mission failures and successes: they are genuine sharing moments to learn real deal about #CubeSat Project Management. The "Poster sessions" where students pitch their SmallSat project are also a great source of payload ideas and inspiration.

Moreover, as a France-based company we'd like to celebrate many of our fellow companies who were representing our ecosystem: COMAT, HEMERIA, RIDE! space, MECANO ID, CNES, Maiaspace, ARIANESPACE, Leanspace, Nymesis, Exotrail, ANYWAVES, Safran, Loft Orbital. We may miss some of them but we were glad to meet so many French companies actively looking for SmallSat opportunities on the international scale.

Introducing DiskSats

The most newsworthy technology of this year's #SmallSatConference is probably this new kind of plate-shaped platform in development called #DiskSats. Introduced by Aerospace Corporation, they are being developed in collaboration with NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Along with a never-seen before shape, they show great potential to become an innovation:

Credit: Aerospace Corporation
  • Mostly 1 meter in diameter and 2,5 cm thick, they are made of carbon fiber, solar panels and should carry electric propulsion. They are planned to accommodate the volume of a 20U CubeSat.
  • They could be operated at very low altitude down to 200kms since they less prone to atmosphere drag. This could prove very useful for #InternetOfThings and #EarthObservation applications providing better resolution and sensitivity.
  • DiskSats are easily stackable in a launcher because of their shape and this promises cost effectiveness when launching #constellations. Furthermore, their design should be adaptable as dimensions can be decreased or increased without changing deployment system.

Aerospace Corporation announced they will test this new kind of #satellite with NASA in 2024 with potential use beyond LEO all the way to the Moon. These DiskSats should also sparkle the development of new kind of separation mechanism and we can't wait to see what the market holds for them.

Less EO, less UHF, more antennas

On a business level, we noticed optical payloads were less represented on the Conference than IoT payloads and antennas. #UltraHighFrequency (UHF) doesn't seem to appeal to ground segments providers anymore as most of them stated they were not inclined to offer that technology as a solution for SmallSats. It appears UHF implies potential radiofrequency interferences and needs to be custom implemented with specific backends and antennas to configure. In the end this solution represents more work and less revenues explaining the lack of interest from major operators. This should definitely be taken into account when developing a new CubeSat, especially for students who are the ones using this technology mostly considering it's the cheaper option to implement and use.

Artemis kit, not for the moon

Credit: Hawaii University

Hawaii University introduced a notable new product called #ArtemisKit (no connection with NASA lunar program) offering the possibility to build your own CubeSat directly from the kit. It was specifically designed for highschools and Universities studying space projects with the ambition to reach the youth accross all US States. It was introduced as low-cost, open source and spaceflight ready for Universities and industrial partners. Along with the strong financial and technical support from NASA for American Universities, this is another tangible asset for the new generation of American #SpacePreneurs. We would love to see this kind of product reach other continents to foster even more bold NewSpace projects!

As a conclusion if you are unsure about pitching your NewSpace project or research the market just as a visitor in #Utah, be assured this exhibit is definitely worth the trip whether business or knowledge wise. The Astreos team will be delighted to meet you there in 2023!

Let's have a look back on the major event of August 2022 in the #SmallSat world: #SmallSatConference in the USA. Astreos COO Clémence Cambourian represented our company and came back from Utah with key takeaways on the latest trends and thoughts on this conference.

As August reaches its end, let's have a look back on the major event of this month in the #SmallSat world: #SmallSatConference in the USA. Astreos COO Clémence Cambourian represented our company and came back from Utah with key takeaways on the latest trends and thoughts on this conference.

Never been to Utah SmallSat? Give it a go!

Some in the SmallSat ecosystem might wonder whether travelling all the way to Utah is worth the time and investment. The answer is definitely yes for the Astreos team! Although an American event on American soil, this event is widely visited by international professionals. There are 3300 participants from 40 countries and continents representing companies accross the whole satellite development cycle, including many European and Asian organisations (Japan, Taiwan, etc.). This blend is an endless source of possibility for matchmaking!

For those willing to learn about pure #MissionManagement, we recommend taking part in the full 2 days of University conferences occurring on the first week-end. These conferences get the audience to discover a lot about new technologies development and open discussions are a gold mine of information on mission failures and successes: they are genuine sharing moments to learn real deal about #CubeSat Project Management. The "Poster sessions" where students pitch their SmallSat project are also a great source of payload ideas and inspiration.

Moreover, as a France-based company we'd like to celebrate many of our fellow companies who were representing our ecosystem: COMAT, HEMERIA, RIDE! space, MECANO ID, CNES, Maiaspace, ARIANESPACE, Leanspace, Nymesis, Exotrail, ANYWAVES, Safran, Loft Orbital. We may miss some of them but we were glad to meet so many French companies actively looking for SmallSat opportunities on the international scale.

Introducing DiskSats

The most newsworthy technology of this year's #SmallSatConference is probably this new kind of plate-shaped platform in development called #DiskSats. Introduced by Aerospace Corporation, they are being developed in collaboration with NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Along with a never-seen before shape, they show great potential to become an innovation:

Credit: Aerospace Corporation
  • Mostly 1 meter in diameter and 2,5 cm thick, they are made of carbon fiber, solar panels and should carry electric propulsion. They are planned to accommodate the volume of a 20U CubeSat.
  • They could be operated at very low altitude down to 200kms since they less prone to atmosphere drag. This could prove very useful for #InternetOfThings and #EarthObservation applications providing better resolution and sensitivity.
  • DiskSats are easily stackable in a launcher because of their shape and this promises cost effectiveness when launching #constellations. Furthermore, their design should be adaptable as dimensions can be decreased or increased without changing deployment system.

Aerospace Corporation announced they will test this new kind of #satellite with NASA in 2024 with potential use beyond LEO all the way to the Moon. These DiskSats should also sparkle the development of new kind of separation mechanism and we can't wait to see what the market holds for them.

Less EO, less UHF, more antennas

On a business level, we noticed optical payloads were less represented on the Conference than IoT payloads and antennas. #UltraHighFrequency (UHF) doesn't seem to appeal to ground segments providers anymore as most of them stated they were not inclined to offer that technology as a solution for SmallSats. It appears UHF implies potential radiofrequency interferences and needs to be custom implemented with specific backends and antennas to configure. In the end this solution represents more work and less revenues explaining the lack of interest from major operators. This should definitely be taken into account when developing a new CubeSat, especially for students who are the ones using this technology mostly considering it's the cheaper option to implement and use.

Artemis kit, not for the moon

Credit: Hawaii University

Hawaii University introduced a notable new product called #ArtemisKit (no connection with NASA lunar program) offering the possibility to build your own CubeSat directly from the kit. It was specifically designed for highschools and Universities studying space projects with the ambition to reach the youth accross all US States. It was introduced as low-cost, open source and spaceflight ready for Universities and industrial partners. Along with the strong financial and technical support from NASA for American Universities, this is another tangible asset for the new generation of American #SpacePreneurs. We would love to see this kind of product reach other continents to foster even more bold NewSpace projects!

As a conclusion if you are unsure about pitching your NewSpace project or research the market just as a visitor in #Utah, be assured this exhibit is definitely worth the trip whether business or knowledge wise. The Astreos team will be delighted to meet you there in 2023!