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This paper is concerned with a satellite sensor network, which applies the concept of terrestrial wireless sensor networks to space. Constellation design and enabling technologies for picosatellite constellations such as distributed computing and intersatellite communication are discussed. The research, carried out at the Surrey Space Centre, is aimed at space weather missions in low Earth orbit (LEO). Distributed satellite system scenarios based on the flower constellation set are introduced. Communication issues of a space based wireless sensor network (SB-WSN) in reference to the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) networking scheme are discussed. A system-on-a-chip computing platform and agent middleware for SB-WSNs are presented. The system-on-a-chip architecture centred around the LEON3 soft processor core is aimed at efficient hardware support of collaborative processing in SB-WSNs, providing a number of intellectual property cores such as a hardware accelerated Wi-Fi MAC and transceiver core and a Java co-processor. A new configurable intersatellite communications module for picosatellites is outlined.