After almost two decades of trial and error, technology development and demonstration, and investment in the industry fundamentals, small satellites have reached a maturity level where it is fair to ask what's next. Do we continue to incrementally advance the state of the art in one technology or another, building one-of-a-kind systems without achieving a fundamentally disruptive state for our industry, or do we commit to establishing system standards that could lead to the broad, mainstream utilization of small satellites? Globally, the trend is toward more standardized, reusable designs for small satellites. Within the US, key doctrinal statements have directed a migration to "standardized spacecraft" for small payloads to increase the quality and quantity of missions flown, while national R&D budgets are providing resources to realize initial efforts at defining standard interfaces. Launch vehicle standards are emerging in mechanical interfaces and two secondary launch standards have been established - ASAP and ESPA Across the spectrum of users, from demonstration missions to academic cubesats, the need for standardization has been identified as key to unlocking lower mission costs and more rapid mission schedules. The challenge comes in how to enact standards that lead to these benefits without stifling technical innovation or design flexibility. The 19TH Annual AIAA/USC Conference on Small Satellites will focus on the issue of standards for small satellite systems, highlighting global efforts in system and subsystem technologies that can be universally applied, and spotlighting programs and initiatives leading to standard interface vehicles that may reap the promised benefits.

Browse the contents of 2005 - Small Satellite Standards: Key to the Future?:

Keynote Address
Technical Session I: Concepts in Modularity
Technical Session II: Defining How Standards Should be Implemented
Technical Session III: Panel Discussion
Technical Session IV: The Year in Retrospect
Technical Session V: Forecast for the Future
Technical Session VI: University Programs
Technical Session VII: 13th Annual Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition
Technical Session VIII: Advanced Technologies I
Technical Session IX: Advanced Technologies II
Technical Session X: Launch Standards
Technical Session XI: Advanced Technologies III
All 2005 Content