Guest Editors:

Steven Gao
Martin Sweeting
Shinichi Nakasuka
Simon Peter Worden

Special Issue Papers

Scanning the Issue: Small Satellites

By S. Gao, M. N. Sweeting, S. Nakasuka, and S. P. Worden

Modern Small Satellites Changing the Economics of Space

By M. N. Sweeting

This paper reviews the history of small satellite development and then summarizes their present capabilities and applications, followed by a look at the future technology trends that small satellites can exploit—both in Earth orbit and for exploration of the solar system.

Space Propulsion Technology for Small Spacecraft

By D. Krejci, and P. Lozano

This paper discusses the different propulsion principles applicable to small satellites, and presents a classification of available propulsion solutions, including a variety of different chemical and EP systems of varying complexity and performance.

Development and Testing of a 3-D-Printed Cold Gas Thruster for an Interplanetary CubeSat

By E. G. Lightsey, T. Stevenson, and M. Sorgenfrei

This paper describes the development and testing of a cold gas attitude control thruster produced for the BioSentinel spacecraft, a CubeSat that will operate beyond Earth orbit.

Advanced Antennas for Small Satellites

By S. Gao, Y. Rahmat-Samii, R. E. Hodges, and X. X. Yang

This paper presents a comprehensive review of recent development in antennas for wireless systems (telemetry, tracking and control, high-speed data downlink, radars, navigation and remote sensing, intersatellite links) onboard small satellites (MiniSat, MicroSat, NanoSat, CubeSat).

Radar Technologies for Earth Remote Sensing From CubeSat Platforms

By E. Peral, E. Im, L. Wye, S. Lee, S. Tanelli, Y. Rahmat-Samii, S. Horst, J. Hoffman, S.-H. Yun, T. Imken, and D. Hawkins

This paper reviews the state of the art and future developments of CubeSat radar missions for Earth remote sensing and the implications for NASA’s current and future Earth Science program.

Energy Storage Technologies for Small Satellite Applications

By K. B. Chin, E. J. Brandon, R. V. Bugga, M. C. Smart, S. C. Jones, F. C. Krause, W. C. West, and G. G. Bolotin

This paper provides a general review of performance capabilities of stateof-the-art lithium-ion battery technologies, as well as other advanced energy storage systems for small satellite applications.

Robotics and AI-Enabled On-Orbit Operations With Future Generation of Small Satellites

By A. Nanjangud, P. C. Blacker, S. Bandyopadhyay, and Y. Gao

This paper provides an overview of the robotics and autonomous system (RAS) technologies that enable robotic on-orbit operations on SmallSat platforms.

A Survey on Formation Control of Small Satellites

By G.-P. Liu and S. Zhang

This paper comprehensively reviews the state-of-the-art development in formation control of small satellites including satellite formation flying, distributed satellite systems, and fractionated satellite formation.

Onboard Processing With Hybrid and Reconfigurable Computing on Small Satellites

By A. D. George and C. M. Wilson

This paper surveys the challenges and opportunities of onboard computers for small satellites and focuses upon new concepts, methods, and technologies that are revolutionizing their capabilities, in terms of two guiding themes: hybrid computing and reconfigurable computing.

Deployable Techniques for Small Satellites

By Y. Miyazaki

This paper provides an overview of past and current research and development of a deployable structure for small satellites, and discusses the future of a deployable structure for small satellites.

Thermospheric Variations From GNSS and Accelerometer Measurements on Small Satellites

By S. Jin, A. Calabia, and L. Yuan

This paper presents an overview of past and present developments and efforts in sensing and modeling thermospheric density, wind variations, as well as future challenges and perspectives for GNSS and accelerometers on small satellites.

Point of View