Florian Deconinck, our Small Satellite Programme Manager, celebrates the 1-year anniversary of our quarterly report, and explains how you could feature in our next edition!
We are excited to be celebrating the 1-year anniversary of our quarterly report on small satellites together with its fifth issue, including a feature on space debris.
Small satellites continue to revolutionise the space sector in different domains. Planet, having built, deployed, and now operating the largest satellite constellation ever, is now focusing on developing commercial products. Spire is aiming to expand its constellation to 150 satellites, providing better coverage for ADS-B, AIS and atmospheric observations. Those pioneers are followed by companies such as Sky and Space Global and Kepler Communications who have tested their first satellites and are commencing commercialisation of their capabilities. The growth of this market is accompanied by an increasing use of space and the associated risks of collision. This report provides a brief overview of the space debris issue.
This 1-year anniversary is also the opportunity for us to reflect on what initiated this effort. The series of reports started as a pilot idea to share widely, in a structured manner, information on the fast-evolving market of small satellites. The reports always begin with a factual update – on the number, size, orbit type and application of small satellites – and end with an ad-hoc feature piece open for more interpretations.
The overall ambition is to enable the small satellite market through accessible information and iteration of ideas for better-informed decisions. Agility is crucial in an emerging market where ideas are being tested. Knowing what works, and what does not, fasten the pace of innovation and convergence towards a sustainable market.
The reports have been increasingly popular, now totalling more than 800 subscribers, receiving positive feedback at each edition and starting to be used by businesses for conferences and investment plans. Looking back at those results triggered our decision to formalise an idea we had from the first report to open the feature piece for external contribution. We are therefore glad to invite contributions, from organisations and individual alike, on a topic of relevance to small satellites to be considered for the feature piece of our next report. If you wish to submit a topic, please contact us at MarketIntelligence@sa.catapult.org.uk.