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  • Living reference work
  • © 2020

Handbook of Small Satellites

Technology, Design, Manufacture, Applications, Economics and Regulation

  • Provides the latest data and resources on small satellite constellations currently in orbit or planned for launch

  • The only comprehensive, interdisciplinary reference work on small satellites

  • Written by a range of international experts

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Table of contents (82 entries)

  1. An Overview of Small Satellite Initiatives in Brazil

    • Rodrigo Leonardi, Adriana Elysa Alimandro Corrêa
  2. Evolution of Satellite Networks and Antenna Markets

    • Arunas G. Slekys, Safieddin (Ali) Safavi-Naeini

About this book

In the past decade, the field of small satellites has expanded the space industry in a powerful way. Hundreds, indeed thousands, of these innovative and highly cost-efficient satellites are now being launched from Earth to establish low-cost space systems. These smallsats are engaged in experiments and prototype testing, communications services, data relay, internet access, remote sensing, defense and security related services, and more. Some of these systems are quite small and are simple student experiments, while others in commercial constellations are employing state-of-the-art technologies to deliver fast and accurate services.

This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of this exciting new field. It covers the technology, applications and services, design and manufacture, launch arrangements, ground systems, and economic and regulatory arrangements surrounding small satellites. The diversity of approach in recent years has allowed for rapid innovation and economic breakthroughs to proceed at a pace that seems only to be speeding up. In this reference work, readers will find information pertaining to all aspects of the small satellite industry, written by a host of international experts in the field.


  • satellite technology
  • satellite services
  • satellite applications
  • satellite regulations
  • satellite design
  • satellite manufacture
  • satellite deployment
  • smallsats
  • cube satellites
  • cubesats
  • smallsat constellations
  • university satellites
  • space licenses
  • orbital debris
  • remote sensing systems
  • satellite networks
  • satellite communications
  • mini satellites

Editors and Affiliations

  • International Space University, Arlington, USA

    Joseph N. Pelton

  • Chapel Hill, USA

    Scott Madry

About the editors

Joseph N. Pelton, Ph.D., has authored over 50 books and over 300 articles during the course of his career. He is a Fellow and member of the Executive Board of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) and serves as one of the Editors of the Journal of Space Safety Engineering. He is the former Dean and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Space University and Director Emeritus of the Space and Advanced Communications Research Institute (SACRI) at George Washington University.

Dr. Pelton was the founder of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation. He has served as the foundation’s Executive Director, and also as Executive Director of the Clarke Institute of Telecommunications and Information (CITI). Additionally, he was the founding President of the Society of Satellite Professionals (SSPI) and has been recognized in the SSPI Hall of Fame. In industry, he was Director of Strategic Policy for Intelsat, Director of Project SHARE and served in various roles for the Comsat Corporation.  He has formerly served on the Advisory Board of the World Future Society and frequently speaks and writes as a futurist.

Dr. Pelton has been elected to be a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, as an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and has received numerous writing and educator awards from the American Astronomical Society, the International Communications Association, the British Interplanetary Society, the Miami Children’s Hospital, and ISCe, among others. He served as the Managing Director of the U.S. World Communications Year 1983 Committee—A U.S. Presidential Appointment.

Bibliographic Information