• STDM Project Group
    STDM Project Group

    Advanced Space Technologies are an essential tool when disaster strikes - find out more with the  Group on Space Technologies For Disaster Management (STDM) Group!

  • SSS Group

    It is vital to keep space clean, safe and useable for future generations - if you are curious how you can contribute, be sure to check out the Space Safety and Sustainability Group!

  • Small Satellites Project Group

    Are you interested in the small satellite community and would like to be up-to-date, while meeting young professionals and students from around the world? Join our group!

  • NEO Project Group

    Near Earth Objects are a substantial hazard to our civilization, but also an opportunity for further space development. The NEO group focuses on everything from detection and mitigation to resource utilization. Check out our page for more information and learn how to get involved!

  • SLP Project Group

    The Space Law and Policy Group incorporates all aspects of those two broad fields of study. It develops the term ‘space law’ as all types of space-related international and national regulations and laws, whereas it interprets the term ‘space policy’ as all kinds of objectives and action plans of the international space community.

SGAC Small Satellites Project Group

About Small Satellites



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Small Satellites

Practically, any artificial satellite of low mass and low volume can be considered as a small satellite. A used definition in terms of weight and the role of miniaturization is provided below:


However, the definition can be enlarged to any system designed with the small satellite philosophy. This may include features such as commercial off-the-shelf components, modular systems, less redundancy, open sourcing, incremental missions, etc.

Over the past few years, small satellites have changed the landscape of space exploration. They facilitate quicker, cost effective and reliable access to space. This provides a potential opportunity to have smaller PROJECT GROUPS and encourages new actors to develop their capabilities in the space domain. Small satellites are encouraging spacecrafts to test and try novel methods and technologies (E.g. open source hardware and software, formation flying), which might not be under the purview of large scale satellites This remains the reasons as to why small satellites have been considered a disruptive technology by numerous space mission experts.


What are Cubesats?
Copyright: Stephan Murphey


Small Satellites and the SGAC

Small satellite programs are particularly attractive since they are “affordable”. There shall be no surprises in the near future, if more and more developing countries, groups from the academic world or even small teams of space enthusiasts develop their own space mission based on small satellites. The small satellite platform is catering to new actors such as developing countries, students, and amateurs. The SGAC recognizes the changing landscape of space exploration using small satellites and initiating the Small Satellite PROJECT GROUPS.

The objectives of the SSPG are split into three parts:

  • 1) Career and project assistance for young professionals and students already active in the small satellite community.
    2) Provide the small satellite community with up-to-date information on relevant topics, as well as recommendations regarding the directions to be taken for future research and development and/or policy and legal issues.
    3) Attract young professionals and students to the world of small satellites and generally to the world of space exploration.



Xatcobeo, Spanish Cubesat
(Part of the ESA Education programme)
Copyright: Universidade de Vigo/INTA

The SSPG objectives are carried out along 2 main axes of action:

  • Observing: The SSPG is a platform to analyze the trends and developments in the world of small satellites. Interdisciplinary teams shall concentrate on specific issues and publish reports with their observations and conclusions, as well as recommendations for the concerned community. Examples of issues are:

   - The array of benefits of small satellite programs for developing countries;
   - The launch opportunities and how they are expected to evolve;
   - The modification brought to the rules of mission design by open sourcing.

  • Encouraging: The SSPG organizes thought competitions rewarding innovative ideas developed for small satellites or applicable to them. The reward shall be in the form of a scholarship to attend major conferences and workshop.
Click here to check out our flyer! We intend to publish our papers on this site later on.

Support our Team

We are constantly looking for cooperating partners. Is your company active in the field of small satellites? Would you like to show your support to our initiative? Please do not hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us. The SSPG is looking forward to hearing from you!

Join our Team

The SSPG is run by volunteers, thanks to an international team from various backgrounds sharing a common interest in the small satellites world. The SSPG is constantly looking for motivated members. Are you interested in small satellites? Do you have ideas to share? Then join our team! Send your resume/CV and ideas to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Small Satellites Project Group was initially created by Guerric de Crombrugghe, Sandra González Díaz, Narayan Prasad Nagendra, Pradeep Mohandas and Sanjay Nekkanti.

The Team: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Project Co-Lead), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Project Co-Lead),

Shreya Santra, Abraham Akinwale, Sourav Karmakar, Sushia Rahimizadeh, Walter Abdias, Antonio Serrano, Olga Mamoutova, and Florian Marmuse.

(Note: the listing of group members is not compulsory)

To join, please contact us via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will get back to you. A schematic representation of the process is provided below.


Do you want to know more about small satellites? Check it out!

The Guidebook on Small Satellite Programs, written by a team project of the International Space University

The on-line Journal of Small Satellites

The CubeSat homepage

The QB50 Network under development by academic institutions all over the world under the supervision of the von Karman Institute

Planet Labs - Imaging Earth with cubesats


Commercial Space

Commercial Space Project Group


Near Earth Objects



Space Exploration

Space Safety & Sustainability


Small Satellites

Small Satellites Project Group

Space Law & Policy

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Space Technology for
Disaster Management



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