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A small satellite, miniaturized satellite, or smallsat is a satellite of low mass and size, usually under 1,200 kg.

Smallsats are becoming increasingly popular in the aerospace industry due to their lower cost and shorter development times compared to traditional satellites. They can be used for a wide range of applications, including earth observation, communication, science and technology demonstrations, and more.

Smallsats are often classified based on their size and mass, with categories including CubeSats (up to 1 kilogram), PocketQubes (up to 0.5 kilograms), and FemtoSats (up to 0.1 kilograms). These small satellites are typically launched as secondary payloads on rockets, although dedicated smallsat launch vehicles are also being developed.

Here are a few examples of smallsats and their uses:

  1. CubeSats: CubeSats are a type of smallsat that are typically about the size of a shoebox and weigh up to 1 kilogram. They are often used for earth observation, communication, and technology demonstrations.

  2. PocketQubes: PocketQubes are another type of smallsat that are even smaller than CubeSats, with a size and mass of up to 0.5 kilograms. They are often used for science and technology demonstrations, as well as for earth observation and communication.

  3. FemtoSats: FemtoSats are the smallest type of smallsat, with a size and mass of up to 0.1 kilograms. They are often used for technology demonstrations and scientific research.

  4. Earth observation smallsats: Smallsats are often used for earth observation missions, including monitoring weather patterns, tracking natural disasters, and studying the environment.

  5. Communication smallsats: Smallsats are also used for communication purposes, including providing internet access to remote areas, supporting military operations, and more.

  6. Science and technology demonstration smallsats: Smallsats are also used to test out new technologies and perform scientific research in space.

Overall, smallsats are an important and growing part of the aerospace industry, offering cost-effective solutions for a wide range of applications.

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