Welcome to the new online home of the 2018 NASA State of the Art Report of Small Spacecraft Technology.

This online version of the NASA State of the Art (SoA) Report provides an overview of the current state of the art of small spacecraft technology. It was first commissioned by NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program (SSTP) in mid-2013 in response to the rapid growth in interest in using small spacecraft for many types of missions in Earth orbit and beyond, and further revised in mid-2015. In 2016 the decision was taken to migrate from a written to an online report.

For the sake of this assessment, small spacecraft are defined to be spacecraft with a mass less than 180 kg. This report provides a summary of the state of the art for each of the following small spacecraft technology domains: Complete Spacecraft, Power, Propulsion, Guidance Navigation and Control, Structures, Materials and Mechanisms, Thermal Control, Command and Data Handling, Communications, Integration, Launch and Deployment, Ground Data Systems and Operations, and Passive Deorbit Devices. Due to the high market penetration of cubesats, particular emphasis is placed on the state of the art of cubesat-related technology.

Information in this SoA report is based primarily on desktop research of published documents on small spacecraft technology and volunteer input submitted to the SmallSat Parts On Orbit Now (SPOON): spoonsite.com database; individual consultations with industry developers, and interactions with developers at small spacecraft-related conferences. Suggestions and contributions were also received during the review process from numerous people at NASA field centers. The content in this report is not intended to be exhaustive – no such assessment can be given the pace of the technology development in this area. New technology is developed continuously, and emerging technologies will mature to become the state of the art. The authors intend to regularly update this report, and current technologies that were inadvertently missed will be identified and included in future versions. Failure to include any specific products or technologies that might be considered relevant under a particular topic was unintentional. At the time of publication, this report includes content accepted until October 2018.

If you have comments about the content of the online SoA report, such as corrections or additions to a chapter, please use the mailing list located at the bottom of each chapter.  Visit the Feedback webpage for additional information.

Download entire State of the Art Small Spacecraft Technology December 2018 report here: SoA2018.pdf