The SmallGEO platform has a future in a wide variety of programmes beyond the Hispasat flight in 2017.
Its next flight will be with the second node of the European Data Relay System. EDRS-C, as it is known, will be the first dedicated satellite to join the laser network’s space segment, the other being a hosted payload.
SmallGEO’s modular design means it can be easily adapted to many different types of missions, which is why its third application will be with the pioneering Electra programme. Electra will be the first satellite to rely solely on electric propulsion to reach its final orbital position and make minor adjustments once there.
High costs and long lead times on space programmes are the most common barriers of entry to the market, which is why the purpose of SmallGEO is to become a more effective and competitive tool than the market currently offers. It will do so by capitalising on its modular design to increase the speed and reduce the costs of the manufacturing and testing process.
The programme also includes plans to diversify the options available to European industry by offering combined chemical and electric propulsion models, chemical-only and the Electra adaptation.