Skip to Main Content
In physics, a particle can cross a barrier to reach a more optimal state - even if that barrier would seem insurmountable under ordinary conditions. In the design of spacecraft, there are many barriers to progress concerning thermal, radiation, cost, and the need to reduce risk. Electronics has evolved to where small spacecraft in low orbits can increasingly perform the functions of their larger brethren. While on the surface this may simply seem like the natural evolution of capability, it really represents a significant non-linearity in terms of cost, schedule, capability and risk. Therefore, small space represents perhaps today's most important direction in space capability. This talk will address the forces that are causing this change, the magnitude of the change and the special relationship between electronics progress and the realization of capable small spacecraft. Finally, it will discuss those challenges that remain unsolved for the full realization of benefit.