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Information Made in Space

Small satellites are reaching one more turning point: Information Made in Space. Space assets are so far limited to acquiring data, all the added value activities are done on ground where raw data are processed to obtain the physical observable for which the system has been designed. A large variety of data products are extracted from physical observables and disseminated to end users.

COTS detectors and solid state memories usable on board of small satellites data grew significantly faster than satellite downlink. Massive amount of data can now be stored on board, but can’t be transmitted to ground, even with the newly developed optical link.

State-of-the-art artificial intelligence and image processing can, already today, extract in a few seconds ready-to-use information from the raw data. Once this functionality is available on board, the existing satellite interlink will be sufficient to send within minutes and anywhere on Earth the made in space information.

Information Made in Space and ready to use to citizens will broaden the market of information obtained by space systems. Market needs and technology evolution all point in this direction: to develop the capabilities to make information on-board, ready to use, available in real time anywhere on Earth. 

To start the era of Information Made in Space is necessary to break old schemes, nothing new to the small satellite business. Many developments along these lines are already running, both with small satellites and drones. Moving these capabilities on board requires a mentality shift, more than just technologies breakthrough, and it may happen sooner than we can imagine. 


Authors are invited to contribute to this year’s theme Information Made in Space. As in the tradition of the 4S Symposium, the selected papers will be discussed in a dedicated session on the first day of the event.

The programme will also cover technical sessions, such as mission and system analysis, applications such as Earth observation, science, telecommunication and navigation, new technologies at system, sub-system and component level. A special session will be dedicated to small satellites access to space, addressing launchers and platform cross-compatibility.

A CubeSat workshop will be held in parallel to the 4S Symposium from Tuesday until Friday.

The 4S Symposium will also host a product Exhibition. An area for hosting more than 60 exhibitors is available to display hardware, software, and services. The programme is complemented by several events providing networking opportunities.