Session

Technical Poster Session 9: Space Access

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

“Space is hard” is a saying that has been made popular in the last few years. It is not just the engineering that is challenging, but also applies to the business of space as well. From supply chain to regulation, the space industry’s infrastructure is not prepared to handle the influx of demand forecasted through the next decade, especially in the small satellite segment. Accordingly, space businesses are looking to cost effectively and quickly build and deploy space payloads while being able to refresh their technologies as advancements are made on Earth. In this paper, we will explore a small satellite customer’s journey from ideation to launch and operations including a survey of the commercial and government entities involved. We will discuss the costs associated with the current processes from both a financial and schedule perspective. An important aspect to this study is to understand that there are many trade-offs to be made, from a whole turn-key solution from ideation to operations, to an entire a la carte solution with space customers “DIY-ing” it. We will provide a broad overview of the providers in each of the value chain segments from payload development, manufacturers, testing, regulatory, launch, and operations. Finally, we will discuss opportunities to make space access easier and the outlook of the value chain as space commercialization becomes a reality over the next decade, including new impactful technologies such as on-orbit servicing and repair. Reusable infrastructure is the key to solving these customers’ pain points as satellites are disposable assets today.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

An Exploration of the Small Satellite Value Chain and the Future of Space Access

Utah State University, Logan, UT

“Space is hard” is a saying that has been made popular in the last few years. It is not just the engineering that is challenging, but also applies to the business of space as well. From supply chain to regulation, the space industry’s infrastructure is not prepared to handle the influx of demand forecasted through the next decade, especially in the small satellite segment. Accordingly, space businesses are looking to cost effectively and quickly build and deploy space payloads while being able to refresh their technologies as advancements are made on Earth. In this paper, we will explore a small satellite customer’s journey from ideation to launch and operations including a survey of the commercial and government entities involved. We will discuss the costs associated with the current processes from both a financial and schedule perspective. An important aspect to this study is to understand that there are many trade-offs to be made, from a whole turn-key solution from ideation to operations, to an entire a la carte solution with space customers “DIY-ing” it. We will provide a broad overview of the providers in each of the value chain segments from payload development, manufacturers, testing, regulatory, launch, and operations. Finally, we will discuss opportunities to make space access easier and the outlook of the value chain as space commercialization becomes a reality over the next decade, including new impactful technologies such as on-orbit servicing and repair. Reusable infrastructure is the key to solving these customers’ pain points as satellites are disposable assets today.