The New Space Economy: Are Tiny Satellites a Gateway for Space Democratization and Commercialization?

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By Andrew Cavalier | 2Q 2022 | IN-6523


Small Satellites Rising Integration


Nanosatellites (Nanosats) are a classification of miniaturized satellites, ranging from one kg to ten kg, that are typically assembled from commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics and used for a variety of applications from Earth Observation (EO) to telecommunications. Cube satellites (CubeSats), while frequently used interchangeably with Nanosats, are a class of Nanosats intended for low earth orbit (LEO) and deployed following the openly available CubeSat Design Specification (CDS) by California Polytechnic State University San Louis Obispo, making these designs rather popular in the satellite miniaturization space. Due to these satellites being smaller and lower in cost to produce, sending them into orbit is inherently cheaper and carries a lower risk than their larger counterparts. These benefits have attracted commercial and government customers into the nanosat space who are interested in expanding their applications and deployments. With more than 1,800 Nanosats and 1,600 CubeSats launched to date, and a higher volume of launches expected in the coming years, these tiny s…

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