Broadcast 1614 (Special Edition)

30 Aug 2011 Matt Bille
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Guest: Mat Bille. Topics: The SmallSat evolution, microsats, and cubesats now and in the future and the relevance to us all. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. The Small Sat Conference PPT presentation and paper by Mr. Bille and his co-authors will be posted on The Space Show blog at the end of this write up. We welcomed Matt Bille back to the program to discuss his Small Sat presentation entitled "Distant Horizons: SmallSat Evolution in the Mid-To-Far Term. We started our first segment with Mr. Bille offering a general definition of a microsat at about 100 kilograms or less. We talked about new uses for microsats, exoplanet exploration, even the possibility of a wider and more commercially valuable personal satellite industry. Also in this segment, we talked about the interest in microsats at the student level, even down to the high school level. Our guest said microsats were now on everybody's radar when in the past, that was not so. We talked about the history of the microsat industry and what our guest and his co-authors suggested in their presentation as a rebirth of the industry with waves of interest. Mr. Bille took a listener question about microsat orbits saying most are used in LEO but beyond LEO uses are emerging. Much was said about launch availability and launching as a secondary payload. A question also came in regarding the use of composites in the satellite manufacturing process. Additionally, Matt pointed out how even the large satellite manufacturing companies were getting involved with microsats and offered us several examples of this to illustrate his point. At the end of this segment, we asked about international interest in microsats and how that has and is changing. In our second segment, we talked about what is causing so much interest and attention from organizations that earlier on were not paying attention to this industry. Our guest focused on DOD as an example of just such an agency given that microsats can offer Earth imaging of about 1.5 meters resolution. Dwayne called in to discuss Operationally Responsive (ORS) Space and microsats. He pointed out the increasing value of UAVs and possible competition to microsats, and that their is even an interest in a stealth UAV. Later in the segment, we talked about thermal control and structural issues plus microsat swarms. A listener expressed concern about small satellites being used as weapons by more and more people having low cost space access. We talked about using the satellites for debris mitigation and our guest suggested where microsats might be on into 2020 and 2030. In our final segment, we talked about the DARPA 100-Year Starship Symposium as Mr. Billie is part of the organizational committee panel. The website for this DARPA program for more information is Our guest had much to say about this program and our future which is what the DARPA study attempts to address. You definitely want to hear this discussion and if you can attend the event in Orlando from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011. Post your comments and questions on the blog URL above.



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