The evolution of microelectronics has produced ever-smaller, faster, and cheaper transistors and the incorporation of these components as integrated circuits and systems has enabled the capabilities of small satellites. Today, the continuation of Moore’s Law, the development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and the application of microengineering systems concepts continue to enable the development of highly capable small satellites including microsatellites and cubesats. Small satellites serve as low-mass platforms that can be sent into orbit for low-cost access to space. These satellites have served as test beds for the development of new space technologies and capabilities, and as hands-on educations tools for countless students, scientist and engineers. The continuing proliferation of small satellites will increase our understanding of the near-earth environment and provide a nearly real-time assessment of the changing environment. In the far term, mass production of small satellites could provide autonomous space assembly of large systems comprised of thousands of “smart nano- and picosatellite “Lego” blocks.

  • Understand how small satellites can implemented for MilSatCom systems
  • Learn about the key difference and similarities between regular and small satellites for MilSatCom and the associated benefits
  • Discuss how small satellites can prove to be both cost-efficient and operational effective for MilSatCom
  • Analyse how small satellites can satisfy your key requirements

Workshop LEADER


Marilee Wheaton

General Manager, The Aerospace Corporation

Marilee J. Wheaton is currently a Systems Engineering Fellow at The Aerospace Corporation. In this role, she leads multiple collaborative cross organizational teams aimed at developing innovative resilient architectures and assessing new model based system engineering processes. Ms. Wheaton has held numerous leadership positions including general manager of the Computer Systems Division and the Systems Engineering Division. Most recently, as Executive Director of The Aerospace Institute, Ms. Wheaton provided leadership for the corporate university. Ms. Wheaton has a B.A. degree in mathematics from California Lutheran University, and an M.S. degree in systems engineering from the University of Southern California. In addition, she is a graduate of the UCLA Executive Program in Management. She is a fellow of the AIAA, a fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), and a fellow and life member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Ms. Wheaton has served as adjunct faculty in the Systems Architecting and Engineering Program at USC Viterbi.

The Aerospace Corporation

The Aerospace Corporation is a not-for-profit company that operates a U.S. federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) dedicated solely to assuring mission success. Aerospace provide leadership and support in all fields and disciplines of research, design, development, acquisition, operations, and program management. The corporation’s unique depth of talent in a broad array of scientific and engineering disciplines, ability to provide objective analysis, and freedom from conflict of interest allows us to provide leaders with the information they need to make the right decisions.

Workshop programme

12:30 Registration and Coffee

13:00 Opening Remarks and Introductions

13:10 MilSatCom Small Satellite Architecture Studies

Frederic Agardy

Frederic Agardy, Chief MilSatCom Architect, The Aerospace Corporation

In the early stages of developing a new space system program, government decision makers need to be assured that they are making the best acquisition choices, while also handling uncertainties such as cost, schedule, technology, and integration risks.

  • Architecture Study Process
  • Problem Definition
  • Exploring Alternatives
  • Analysis and Evaluation
  • Integration and Summary
  • 13:50 Small Satellite Technologies for MilSatCom Applications

    Marilee Wheaton

    Marilee Wheaton, General Manager, The Aerospace Corporation
    View Bio

    Small satellite applications continue to expand, however, these spacecraft are limited by technical factors, such as physical scaling, orbital mechanics, economics, and technology readiness.

  • Satellite Scaling Issues
  • Small Satellite Missions
  • Cubesat Applications
  • Near and Long Term Applications
  • 14:30 Afternoon Tea

    15:00 Cost and Programmatic Considerations of Small Satellites

    Tim Andersen

    Tim Andersen, Senior Project Leader, The Aerospace Corporation

    The paradigm shift from large satellites to small satellites required that new methodologies be developed to assess their cost. This effort involves an examination of technical and economic issues related to designing, manufacturing and operating small satellites.

  • Estimating methodologies
  • Cost drivers
  • Complexity and Technology Drivers
  • Economic and market analysis
  • 15:40 The Generation after Next: The Future of Small Satellites

    Henry Helvajian

    Henry Helvajian, Senior Scientist, The Aerospace Corporation

    This presentation addresses the practicality of manufacturing satellites as an assembly of mass-producible functional units through approaches currently labelled as mass manufacturing, mass customization, and design for manufacturability.

  • Power and Limitation of Modularity
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Fabrication Technologies
  • Next Steps Forward
  • 16:20 Closing Remarks and Questions

    16:30 End of Workshop


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    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

    ‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

    CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

    Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


    There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

    For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

    CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


    Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

    ‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

    ‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

    The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

    As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SAE Media Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

    CPD Certificates

    We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@saemediagroup.com

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