Selected Meetings Blog


June 16, 2022

4S Conference Re-opens in Portugal (May 16-20, 2022)
by Ravi Deepak, JoSS Assistant Managing Editor

Dr. Luca Maresi welcomes the audience to the 2022 4S Symposium.

On May 16-20 this year, the bi-annual Small Satellite Systems and Services (4S) Symposium returned with an ever-growing small satellite community in beautiful Vilamoura, Portugal, after a four-year pandemic-induced hiatus. 4S Chairpersons Dr. Luca Maresi, ESA, and Dr. Jean-Noel Bricout, CNES; Technical Program Chair Dr. Ana Baselga Mateo, ESA; and the 4S Technical Committees gave an overview of the program on the Science Data “Made in the Space,” past, present, and future missions, instruments and payloads. In addition, Roger Walker, ESA, hosted a tailored CubeSat Workshop that encouraged community discussions on development and flight experiences from recent missions and payloads, as well as plans for future missions to LEO and beyond.
4S chairpersons thanks Dr. Hugo Costa from the Portuguese Space Agency

Dr. Hugo Costa, from the Portuguese Space Agency, opened the ceremonies with highlights from their recently established Agency’s successes and vision for the future ( Chuck Finley, NASA Ames Research Center, and Prof. Andrew Kwas, Northrup Grumman, shared a vision for the small satellite community beyond LEO in support of the NASA Artemis Program. Prof. Tomaz Rodic, a former host of the 2012 4S in Slovenia, shared the Slovenia Space successes from NEMO-HD mission combining video and multispectral imaging, launched in 2020. Dr. Marco Esposito presented his vision of “Thinking Inside the Box” in Day 1’s keynote address, highlighting the success of the HyperScout Hyperspectral mission through the pandemic and envisioning future opportunities in the miniature form factor.
Over the next four days, the carefully curated technical program proved the pandemic didn’t stop research and development from the small satellite community. Day 2 opened with a CubeSat Plenary Session with talks from Prof. Steve Raising, Colorado State University, who shared the successful Tempest-D; and Prof. Robert Wright, University of Hawaii, who shared the upcoming mission, HyTI Hyperspectral, with talks later in the program from Profs. Frederik Bruhn (discussing HyTi’s on board processing and AI) and Klaus Schilling, Zentrum,  who discussed CloudCT formation flying network of small satellites for modeling the computer tomography to characterize the interior clouds. Dr. Simone Tanelli, JPL, featured the upcoming combination of the successes from RainCube and Tempest-D missions to form the INCUS mission. Roger Hunter delivered an excellent overview from the NASA Small Satellite Technology Program (SSTP), managing their 5th round of SmallSat Technology Partnerships (STPs), which includes exciting upcoming partnership for laser and 5G communication network between a small satellite constellation and lunar surface, and the DiskSat concept from the Aerospace Corporation, recently announced at the CalPoly CubeSat Workshop 2022. 
The next two days of presentations addressed the underlying theme of Space-based remote sensing opportunities for the Oceans and Coasts. Day 2’s keynote talk by ESA’s Paola Corrodi discussed the opportunities to detect marine litter from Space, while Day 3’s address focused on  marine and deep-ocean science by João Sousa, LSTS U Porto. The 4S Dinner Banquet, as always, was a highlight of the conference; back from the pandemic, everyone seemed to beam under the moonlight with the excitement of being in the company of their peers.
At Day 4’s Workshop on New Technologies, Dr. Charles Swenson, Utah State University, presented the exciting active cooling for multispectral earth sensors (ACMES) mission, featuring the Active Thermal Architecture that is a complete solution for the Hyperspectral Thermal Imager (HyTi), Filter Incidence Narrow-band Infrared Spectrometer (FINIS), and the Planer Langmuir/Impedance Diagnostic (PLAID). Dr. Manuel Vega, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, shared the Signals of opportunity P-Band investigation (SNOOPI) Mission overview, the first demonstration of measurements within the 240-380 MHz spectrum in a bi-static configuration from low earth orbit. In the Earth Observation session, Dr. Florence Tan, deputy director for NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), shared the successes and exciting vision for the small satellite community across NASA SMD’s six divisions, which have funded 133 SmallSat missions (88) and studies, and has over 50 missions in formulation. 
4S Chairpersons thank the Technical Chair Dr. Ana Baselga Mateo, Conference Staff, Sponsor and Presenters

The Final Day concluded with a Keynote address by Roger Hunter, NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD)’s SSTP shared a challenge to the audience to keep dreaming and envisioning the game-changing opportunities for the small satellite community. As Dr. Maresi expressed his gratitude to the 4S Technical Committee and Conference Staff, 4S sponsors, and presenters, the entire community seemed inspired by the opportunity to reconnect, though wondering where the next 4S will be held. 
Please visit the 4S website for the full Conference program and papers:

June 16, 2022
CalPoly CubeSat Developer Workshop (CDW) (April 14, 2022)
by Ravi Deepak, JoSS Assistant Managing Editor
In April 2022, with sold-out sponsorships, the CubeSat Developer’s Workshop (CDW) re-opened the doors to an enthusiastic CubeSat crowd of students, researchers, engineers, and developers surging into picturesque San Luis Obispo and California Polytechnic University and the Performing Arts Center, CDW’s event venue. It has been since 2019 that the community last converged for the Workshop. Students and other participants and attendees warmly welcomed CubeSat developers back to the motherland of the P-Pod Deployer, invented by Dr. Jordi Puig-Suari, a cornerstone in the community. As Dr. Puig-Suari has been abroad on sabbatical, Dr. John Bollardo and Ryan Nugent drew these developers back into conference, resulting in the re-instatement of its role as a popular and important forum for the SmallSat community. 
The AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee (SmSTC) held their TC meeting, and welcomed Dr. Shannon Statham, NASA JPL (RainCube Program Manager), as their new TC Vice-Chair, who will work with the Technical Committee Chair Dr. Keri Cahoy, MIT’s STAR Lab. After Dr. Bellardo’s opening remarks, Dr. Florence Tan, Deputy Director of NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), delivered an engaging keynote address, showcasing SMD’s six divisions of influential support of the CubeSat and small satellite form factor, providing new funding mechanisms from In-Space Validation of Earth Science Technology (INVEST),  the Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx), and other programs over the past decade. Since 2010, SMD has funded over $3 Billion for 133 CubeSat and small satellite missions (88) and studies, and shared SMD’s vision for fostering future efforts for small satellite programs to achieve transformative science measurements.
Over the next few days, there were outstanding presentations and side-workshops. Prof. Mike Swartwout of St. Louis University shared a few remarkable small satellite statistics over the past decade, including the report that over 400 organizations from 65 Nations have launched CubeSats. Ms. Cynthia Wilson from the 18th US Space Force Space Defense Squadron kindly reminded the community of proper space stewardship through satellites coordination and the importance to situational awareness, registering with Richard Welle, the Aerospace Corporation, shared an exciting new small satellite design with a flat-panel “DiskSat.” The X-in-a-Box team held a number of workshops sharing exciting STEM kits with their new US venture, Max-IQ. Throughout the conference there seemed to be an underlying theme for thermal consideration for management, and before the workshop finished there was an excellent panel moderated by Boris Yendler on the CubeSat Thermal Designs and Best Practices.

June 16, 2022

Inter Planetary Small Satellite Conference (ISSC) (May 2-3, 2022)
by Ravi Deepak, JoSS Assistant Managing Editor
Book-ending the Workshop, the Inter Planetary Small Satellite Conference, chaired by Dr. Alessandra Babuscia, NASA JPL, celebrated its 10th conference with an inspiring opening keynote statement from Dr. Bhavya Lol, NASA Associate Administrator for Technology, Policy, and Strategy, sharing the emerging trends in Space and the government’s trajectory. Dr. Pamela Clark, Morehead State University, shared updates and lessons learned from the Lunar-bound Cubesats on SLS-1, Artemis, and Thomas Gardner, Advanced Space, from Capstone Mission discussed their upcoming launch with Rocketlab. Dr. Anthony Freeman, NASA JPL and Day 2 Keynote speaker, highlighted interesting points from their workshop, Low-Cost Science Mission Concepts for Mars Exploration.  

December 15, 2021

Satellite 2021 Re-Emerging, National Harbor, MD US (Sept. 7-10, 2021)
by Ravi Deepak, JoSS Assistant Managing Editor

After last year’s precautionary, mid-conference hiatus due to Covid, the satellite and space community re-emerged this Fall with force at Satellite 2021. Celebrating its 41st year, this meeting’s SatShow is a premier Satellite Business showcase, a forum for informative panels and discussions, and an exhibition hall primed for business networking.

The conference opened with a virtual address from Keynote Speaker Mr. Sunil Mittal, Bharti Airtel Chairman, who helped to shepherd OneWeb back from bankruptcy this year. He shared his vision for LEO Broadband to connect and globalize rural communities around the World with the OneWeb consortium partners, including Hughes Network Systems-Echostar. Mr. Mittal’s address was followed by a lively panel discussion among Satellite Broadband experts, including Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of Starlink, who shared a remarkable story about the game-changing connectivity that Starlink is providing with their 800+ satellites in orbit. During the second day’s “out-of-this-world” keynote, the stage was shared by Sir Richard Branson, commercial astronaut and explorer, and Virgin Orbit CEO, Dan Hart, as they celebrated reaching space for Virgin Galactic and orbit for Virgin Orbit over the past year. To top off the keynote addresses, the National Space Council’s Executive Secretary, Chirag Parikh, announced that the NSC’s User Advisory Group plans to attract more diversity in its 27-member board, a top priority for Vice President Kamala Harris, who will advise space policy across the federal government.  

Satellite 2021 featured pioneering panels over the next three and half days, highlighting the recording breaking number of satellites launched since the pandemic shutdown, the new accompanying ground station standardizations, and overall Space community consolidations. A few of the excellent panel discussions included the Fostering Diversity and Inclusion panel with Airbus Vice-President, Debra Faktor; the Satellite Manufacturer Supply Chain Discussions with Northrop Grumman’s Sector Vice President, Frank DeMauro, and Boeing President of Commercial Satellites Systems, Ryan Reid, which left the audience chatting “NextSpace.”

Overall, the conference brought together outstanding leaders in the satellite and space community, filled with timely discussions and a great platform for coordinating business deals among commercial, US Government (including civil and military branches), and the global space community at large. We look forward to the community’s convergence at Satellite 2022, March 22-24, 2022 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC!

The Satellite 2021 Program can be found at:

The Satellite 2022 Program can be found at:  

October 11, 2017

3rd COSPAR Symposium: Small Satellites for Space Research, Jeju Island, South Korea, Sept 18-22, 2017
by Adarsh Deepak, PhD, JoSS Managing Editor

COSPAR 2017 was held at the world-class convention center ICCJEJU, located within the Jungmun Tourist Complex, Jeju, Korea.
Legend has it that the ‘dol hareubangs,’ large rock statues found (as early as 1754) on Jeju Island, are the Island’s guardian and fertility deities (Korean ‘dol’ means ‘stone’).

The 3rd COSPAR Symposium, held on Jeju Island, South Korea, September 18-22, 2017, was a resounding success. Dedicated for the first time to “Small Satellites for Space Research” and spanning most of the COSPAR Scientific Commission and Panel disciplines, the event provided an eye-opening learning experience, both scientifically and technologically.

In addition, the social and cultural experience encountered during the sightseeing tours and at the gala dinner cultural show made it all the more enjoyable.

Traditional Korean dancers entertain at the 3rd COSPAR Symposium Gala Dinner.

The 362 attendees (140 from South Korea and 222 from 36 other countries, including 72 from the USA) presented approximately 431 papers in oral and poster formats, providing an excellent overview of the current progress made, and spurring to action the innovative work that remains to be accomplished.
The Symposium’s Scientific Program included the following presentations:

Keynote Speaker: Thomas Zurbuchen, PhD, Assoc. Admin., NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Photo Credit: NASA
  • Two Keynote Speeches, by Drs. T. Zurbuchen, NASA HQ and S. Nakasuka, U of Tokyo, Japan;
  • 14 Plenary Talks, by Drs. L. Paxton, JHU/APL, USA; V. Angelopoulos, UCLA, US; A. Freeman, NASA/JPL, US; L. Lei, NSSC, China; E. Talaat, NASA HQ; F. Fiore, RAO, Italy; D. Klumpar, MSU, USA; M. Ariel, THSC, Israel; M. Daly, YU, Canada; A. Petrukovich, SRI, Russia; K-WMin, KAIST, Korea; F. Masaki, JAEA, Japan;
  • 210 Scientific Session Papers, including Invited Papers; and
  • 105 Poster Session Papers.

For the full program, see


Young-deuk Park, PhD, Chair, SPC, KASI, Korea
Jong Uk Park (James), PhD, LOC Co-Chair, KASI, Korea
Jean-Louis Fellous, Chair, COSPAR Finance Committee, Netherlands
Plenary Speaker: David Klumpar, PhD, Montana State University, US

Established in 1958, the COSPAR (Committee on Space Research, ), is part of the International Council for Science (ICSU, after its former name, International Council of Scientific Unions): . The stated mission of COSPAR is first and foremost “Service to the International Space Science Community,” but it also includes “Service to Developed Space Programs and Service to Developing Space Programs.” This three-faceted COSPAR mission is achieved by organizing: (i) Scientific Commissions & Panels, Publications & Scientific Roadmaps, and Education & Outreach; (ii) Scientific Assemblies, Panel on Planetary Protection (3P), and Service to Developed Space Programs; and (iii) Off-Assembly Year Symposia, Capacity Building Workshops, and Service to Developing Space Programs. 

Invited Speaker: Lika Guhathakurta, PhD Astrophysicist/Heliophysicist, NASA HQ, US

The COSPAR Symposium, which includes multidisciplinary and training sessions, aims to promote space research at a regional level in emerging countries and will be held every two years in different parts of the world. The first symposium was held at Bangkok, Thailand, in 2013, on “Planetary Systems of our Sun and other Stars, and the Future of Space Astronomy.” The second was at Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, in 2015, addressing “Water and Life in Universe.”
During the Symposium, an ad hoc COSPAR Forum on “Small Satellites for Space Science (4S) COSPAR Roadmap” was chaired by Rudolf von Steiger, Ph.D., International Space Science Institute, Switzerland, in the absence of his co-chair. While the purpose of the Symposium presentation was to give an interim report of the Forum’s work to date, the ad hoc Forum was to solicit input and critiques from the community at large. The 4S COSPAR Roadmap Forum’s motivation and deliverables may be culled from the abstract of Dr. von Steiger’s invited Symposium talk and at his web site (, as follows:
An international study team of scientist and engineering leaders working under the auspices of COSPAR is embarking on a two-year project to develop an international scientific roadmap on Small Satellites for Space Science (4S), focusing particularly on CubeSats and CubeSatTechnology-enabled small satellites. This effort is motivated by recent progress and results summarized in a published report (Zurbuchen, von Steiger et al., Performing High-Quality Science on CubeSats, Space Research Today, Vol. 196, pp. 10-30, August 2016) and a study by the US National Academies (Zurbuchen, Lal et al., Achieving Science with CubeSats: Thinking Inside the Box, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2016).
The scientific roadmap will be developed by a study team that covers a broad range of scientific disciplines, including scientists and engineers from universities, public research institutions, and industry. Six specific themes will be addressed, in a forward-looking plan that should be of value to space agencies and their supporting governments around the globe:

1) The current status and use of CubeSats for science, their technological capabilities, and their key successes to date;
2) The scientific potential of small satellites both as stand-alone targeted missions, but also as secondary payloads, and as constellations and swarms;
3) The role of participating agencies and industry in developing standardized approaches to the development of spacecraft (hardware and software), and also ground-systems, etc., that enables this science;
4) The policies that support the growth of the number and types of CubeSats and CubeSat technology-enabled small satellites, related to communications and frequency allocation, orbital debris, and launch vehicles;
5) Successful models for international collaboration between teams developing and operating small missions, and how are data being shared and preserved for the future; and
6) The mechanism for participating international universities learn from each other to share lessons learned and drive international collaborations in this rapidly moving field.
Progress on the 4S COSPAR Roadmap is scheduled to be presented at the 42nd COSPAR General Assembly, Pasadena, California, US, July 14-22, 2018.

Lennard Fisk, Ph.D., COSPAR President, USA, presenting awards at the Gala dinner.

For their meticulous planning and organization, credit and kudos are due the following:

  • The Korean COSPAR Committee (KCC), Chair: Dr. Young-deuk Park, (KASI, Korea Astronomy & Space Science Inst.);
  • Symposium Program Committee (SPC), Chair: Dr. Young-deuk Park (KASI);
  • Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC). Chair/Co-Chair: Dr. Dong-Hun Lee (Kyung Hee Univ)/ Dr. Jong Uk Park (James) (KASI);
  • Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Chair/Co-Chair: Dr. Jong Uk Park (James), KASI/ Dr. Seo-gu Lee (KASI).


July 29, 2013

4S Symposium 2012, Portoroz, Slovenia, Jun 4-8, 2012

by Luca Maresi, Ph.D., ESA/ESTEC, 4S Co-Chair
The 4S in the beautiful coastal setting of Portoroz, Slovenia, was attended by 338 persons coming from 35 different Nations representing 200 companies and research institutions. A delegation of 50 Slovenians attended the event, demonstrating that the event reached its objective of promoting Space activities in the new-comer Space Countries. The number of participants increased 20% with respect to 2010 (with 246 participants), even without counting the Slovenian participants.


Photo 1: Coastal View of Portoroz, Slovenia


Photo 2: Loc Boloh (CNES) and Dr. Luca Maresi (ESA/ESTC) co-chairs of the 4S Symposium 2012


Photo 3: Daniel Hernandez, retired from CNES and founder of the 4S Symposium, and Luca Maresi, ESA/ESTEC, Co-Chair of 4S Symposium 2012.

Photo Credit: Pat Deepak

February 10, 2012

4th European CubeSat Symposium, Brussels, BE, Jan 30-Feb 1, 2012
3rd QB50 Coordination Workshop, von Karman Institute (VKI),
Rhode-St-Genèse, BE, Feb 2, 2012

by Ravi Deepak, ADP/JoSS
There was a strong showing of “CubeSat-ers” at the 4th Annual European CubeSat Symposium in Brussels, Belgium. The Symposium convened at the prestigious Ecole Royale Militaire, with its guarded entrance on Rue Hobbema (which the taxi drivers would jokingly call “Obama” Street to humor me, noticing my American accent.) The gathering received a warm welcome, offsetting the chill of the Belgium winter. Dr. Ruedeger Reinhard (Photo 6, on left), one of the Symposium’s organizers in 2008, partnered with the von Karman Institute’s Drs. Jean Muylaert (Photo 1, 6) and Cem Asma (Photo 1, 2) to host this year’s event, which was conveniently followed up by the 3rd QB50 Coordination Workshop at VKI located 40 km away.


Photo 1: Group photo, Jean Muylaert on the left

Over the two-and-a-half day Symposium, near 80 talks were presented to the audience of more than 200 participants in the Ecole’s main conference hall. The talks were split into 12 sections, addressing such topics as networks/constellations, biology and microgravity experiments, orbital dynamics, and future technologies (refer to Dr. John Hines (photo 3) of NASA Ames Research Center, California, USA, gave an invited paper; he described NASA’s conducting several successful Small-Sat missions in which he was involved, including biological experiments.


Photos 2, 3, 4, 5: Cem Asma, John Hines, Jean-Pierre Contzen, Luca Maresi

Many of the talks and much of the excitement focused on the upcoming QB50 mission and workshop that was to follow the conference. QB50 is a testament to the innovative culture in the Cubesat community. QB50 is being coordinated by the von Karman Institute (VKI), specifically Dr. Reinhard, Dr. Muylaert, and Dr. Asma ( This Workshop marked the third of the series, and the first after the European Space Agency (ESA) funded the project’s management in November 2011. The proposal deadline for QB50 is scheduled for the end of March, 2012; and based on the unexpectedly large number of participants in attendance at the QB50 Workshop, it seemed that it would be fairly easy to fill the 50 slots.

Cem was impressed by the reception of the workshop, as the attendees overflowed the auditorium. But it showed the excitement and enthusiasm of the Cubesat-ers to participate in such a massive undertaking. Many countries both inside and outside of the European Union have embraced QB50, showing the connectivity of the CubeSat community. The QB50 steering committee (Photo 6) is currently composed of 11 key people, including Drs. Jean Muylaert, Ruedeger Reinhard, Daniel Faber, Cesar Bernal, Jeroen Rotteveel, Alan Smith, Dhiren Kataria, Muriel Richard, Vaios Lappas and Cem Asma.

The network of CubeSats will be deployed in the lower thermosphere, without endangering the International Space Station. Each CubeSat is divided in two payloads, the “scientific” and “functional” units; the QB50 Working Group on Sensor Selection will provide the scientific unit. The “functional” unit will be available for the teams to design, and will include power, cpu, telecommunications. It seems as though already a handful of Cubesat companies have designed the “functional” units, or will do so to assist the teams.


Photo 6: Group photo, Ruedeger Reinhard on the left

It was a pleasure to meet several JoSS Editors at the two meetings. We at JoSS are excited to see what lies ahead for the project, and look forward to receiving papers describing original research on different topical areas for publishing in the peer-reviewed Journal of Small Satellites (