Technical Committees

A series of Technical Committees has been created to provide focus on the most critical elements and issues facing the small satellite and ride share community. Committees may be dissolved and created as the needs and interests within the community change. Committee members are selected from interested Association Members and balanced to provide representation from all segments of the community (government, industry, academia, satellite builders, launch service providers, and support services). A Technical Committee Chair will coordinate the activities of each committee; each committee will meet, either in person or through a teleconference, two times a year to develop issues, themes, topics, suggestions, etc. Each committee will present a summary of their activities at the annual Conference. The presentation and/or a written report will posted on the Association web site for the benefit of the membership. Each year one third of the Membership will be replaced with new Members to maximize participation. No technical committee reports will be released without the approval of the SPRSA Policy Committee to ensure that all information has been coordinated and represents the interests of the community at large.

Small Launch Vehicles Technical Committee

This committee will review the status of the current and pending small launch vehicles within the United States.   The focus should include both the supply side issues as well as the demand side issues.  Performance, capability, strengths, limitations, availability, affordability should be reviewed.  Shortfalls in projected capability and possible increases in demand should be documented; suggestions, concerns, options, and issues should be noted, discussed, and summarized based on the collective views of the committee membership.

Large Launch Vehicles Technical Committee

This committee will review the status of the current and pending large launch vehicles within the United States.   The focus should include both the supply side issues as well as the demand side issues.  The compatibility with secondary adapters should be evaluated and the potential availability of secondary opportunities should be discussed; issues of access to secondary capability, scheduling, and manifesting should be identified.  Issues, concerns, suggestions, and options should be noted, discussed, and summarized based on the collective views of the committee membership.

Foreign Launch Vehicles Technical Committee

This committee will review the status of the current and pending launch vehicles available outside the United States.   The focus should include both the advantages and disadvantages of using foreign launchers.  The types of secondary adapters or payload interfaces should be evaluated and the potential availability of secondary opportunities should be discussed; issues of access to secondary capability, scheduling, and manifesting should be identified as well as U.S. policies, restrictions, and processes required to take advantage of foreign launch opportunities.  Issues, concerns, suggestions, and options should be noted, discussed, and summarized based on the collective views of the committee membership.

Secondary Adapters Technical Committee

This committee will review the existing and conceptual secondary adapters, the vehicles on which they can be flown, their capabilities and limitations, as well as potential flight opportunities.  Secondary adapters’ shortfalls in weight or volume, limitations in vehicle compatibility, and other issues and perceived needs should be identified and documented.  Manifesting and scheduling issues should be evaluated and documented along with suggestions for resolution or improvements.

Secondary Missions Technical Committee

This committee will address the types of missions that can be served by small, secondary satellites and the issues and reasons that have limited their use.  The focus should be on identifying promising missions that could be well served by small, secondary satellites and methods of bringing these opportunities to fruition.  This committee should review all these potential missions against the routinely manifested missions and compare their orbits, inclinations, and other parameters for matches and disconnects.  The advantages of small satellites in distributed constellations should be compared with addressing mission areas with fewer, larger satellites.  Impediments, suggestions, limitations, and recommendations should be identified and documented.

Emerging Missions Technical Committee

This committee will address potential new missions that could be served by small, secondary satellites; the focus should be on emerging technologies, changing requirements, budget constraints, and other factors that might make a small satellite solution attractive to these new missions.  Suggestions for technology developments and demonstrations should be documented.  Efforts should be made to scope the rough size of spacecraft required to effectively satisfy the mission requirements and compare these classes of spacecraft against the current and projected secondary adapters and flight opportunities.  Shortfalls should be identified and documented.

Hosted Payloads Technical Committee

This committee will address the options and opportunities for flying payloads on host satellites that could be deployed or remain attached; the focus should be on emerging technologies, changing requirements, budget constraints, and other factors that might make a hosted payload solution attractive.  This committee should review potential missions against the manifests for potential spacecraft hosts for possible matches.  The advantages and disadvantages of small, hosted payloads on distributed satellite constellations should be evaluated.  Impediments, suggestions, limitations, and recommendations should be identified and documented.

Orbital Debris Technical Committee

This committee will address the issues related to small satellites at the end of their useful life; specifically, the requirements for de-orbit of satellites that will not decay naturally within a limited time should be discussed and options and issues should be identified; the focus should be on emerging technologies, changing requirements, budget constraints, and other factors that could impact the viability and attractiveness of small satellites from an orbital debris perspective.  Suggestions for technology developments and demonstrations should be documented.

Operations Support Technical Committee

This committee will address the operational factors and impediments limiting the ease of flying secondary payloads; examples include dedicated deployment sequencers that could significantly reduce the interface requirements between the secondaries and the launch vehicles, structural requirements that could standardize the loads and vibrational frequencies to minimize impacts on normal coupled loads analyses, and other issues that could mitigate cost and schedule impacts associated with ride share payloads.  Impediments, suggestions, limitations, and recommendations should be identified and documented.

Spaceports Technical Committee

This committee should discuss and evaluate the capabilities, advantages and disadvantages, limitations, options, and opportunities associated with the use of alternate or non-traditional spaceports as alternatives to the two primary national ranges; the current and planned launch services operating from each of these spaceports should be reviewed and the opportunities for increased operations should be considered.   The full range of potential operations (i.e. targets, probes, sounding rockets, drones, etc) should be discussed as a means of augmenting the limited demand for space launches and lowering the operational costs and sustaining the full range of capabilities.  Impediments, suggestions, limitations, and recommendations should be identified and documented.

CubeSats Technical Committee

This committee should address the potential of CubeSats to satisfy real mission requirements; strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities of the CubeSats platform should be evaluated.  Consideration should be given to new standard deployment options to address the potential for greater than 3U configurations;  methods of providing a minimal set of CubeSat adapters on all U.S. launch vehicles should be discussed.  Impediments and resistant to routine CubeSat capabilities should be fully explored and understood.  Impediments, suggestions, limitations, and recommendations should be identified and documented.