Friday, September 03, 2004

18th annual Conference on Small Satellites

Small Satellites Still a Small Market, but Proving Their Utility

Andrew Lewin, a program manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., told the conference that small satellites do conduct valuable missions, but they represent only a small part of the overall space market and do not appear to be poised for substantial growth.

“Small satellites will continue to demonstrate considerable utility, but not necessarily reach the threshold of being disruptive technology,” Lewin said.

He said small satellites could become transformational technologies in three ways: displacement of larger spacecraft; maintenance of existing market share within a growing space market; or creation of new markets.

Lewin said the type of innovation necessary for small satellites to disrupt the status quo would come from the commercial market. “In my mind, that’s really where it’s at,” he said.

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