News

Area hotels sell out as space experts invade Cache Valley

By Brittney Hunt and Jamie Kandler
Utah State University Research Foundation
August 1, 2008

Logan, UT—The 22nd Annual Small Satellite Conference kicks off August 11–14, 2008, at Utah State University.  This year’s focus is on the expanding business of small space, and strategically advancing the business into a profitable industry.

“Every company has to come up with a business plan to determine profitability. The small space industry is the same, so we need to develop our plan for success,” said Pat Patterson, chairman of the conference.

Small satellites are part of a growing commerce; helping improve technology with a more economical cost. Raising money for research and development to advance the best products and the latest technology is one of the significant issues the space industry is facing. Patterson explained that with the cost of larger satellite missions and decreasing budgets, small satellites seem to be the best answer to staying in the space race. 

Small space is not driven only by customers such as NASA, the Department of Defense or the ESA. The technology is used to improve everyday conveniences such as predicting the weather and talking on cell phones. For small satellites to truly advance, Patterson said, there must be investments from the private sector.

“For the private sector to invest there has to be a business case with a clear path to a solid return on investment. The Small Sat Conference will discuss finding that path,” Patterson said.

Keynote speaker, Carl A. Marchetto, president of ATK Space Systems, will speak at this year’s conference concerning issues facing the industry today. Marchetto will discuss strengths that can catapult emerging technologies into mainstream aerospace business, as well as potential stumbling blocks. Issues from all market sectors – missions, satellites, launchers, and the consumers that may make the industry more technologically and monetarily beneficial – will be explored.

Additional events include the opening social sponsored by the Space Dynamics Laboratory and the 16th Annual Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition. Each year undergraduate and graduate engineering students present technical papers to compete for approximately $30,000 in scholarship funds donated by individuals and aerospace companies.

The annual gathering provides a forum for the best minds in the small satellite community to review recent successes, explore new directions, and introduce emerging technologies in small spacecraft development. 

The conference offers comprehensive technical sessions and more than 60 top aerospace corporation exhibits to nearly 900 attendees representing more than 20 countries. For more information about the conference visit: http://www.smallsat.org/