Blog – SFL Serving Both NewSpace and MicroSpace Missions

Last week, we announced our new line of cost-effective performance CubeSats to complement our legacy suite of smaller satellites, enabling SFL to meet the evolving needs of missions spanning 3kg to 500+kg in mass. As part of the CubeSat announcement, we also released details of our new NewSpace (accelerated) development option, which speeds procedures to get a mission into orbit more quickly.

We made the CubeSat and NewSpace Option announcement together to emphasize SFL’s commitment to serving as a comprehensive provider of smaller satellite missions. In today’s era of NewSpace programs, this means we can deliver disruptive, proof-of-concept CubeSats or CubeSat constellations based on rapid replenishment strategies, while also delivering long-lifetime free-form satellites and satellite constellations through our standard microspace approach.

CubeSats and their evolving standards have become important platforms for certain disruptive missions and rapid replenishment missions because their common form factors allow them to use commercially available deployers and aggregate en masse for lower launch cost per satellite compared to free-form satellites.. The standardization of CubeSat dimensions has resulted in the widespread availability of relatively inexpensive, mass-produced deployers (or dispensers) of varying sizes that greatly simplify integration with, and release from, the launch vehicle. Moreover, the expansion of the CubeSat standard to include 6U, 12U and 16U sizes has opened up the range of applications that may be served by CubeSats.

For demonstration missions or rapid replenishment missions, timing is frequently just as critical as cost. This is why we have created the optional accelerated, or NewSpace, approach to the construction, integration and testing of our CubeSats. Many operators, especially in the NewSpace arena, need to get their demo satellites into orbit quickly to stave off competition and secure additional funding. NewSpace companies that adopt the rapid replenishment strategy in their business models also need quick turnaround and mass production. That’s what our NewSpace process accomplishes.

It is important to stress, however, that SFL’s core avionics and attitude control developed over the past 22 years go into every satellite we develop, regardless of size or process. At the same time, we augment our core with new commercial technologies as they become available to maximize performance.

So, for those of you keeping track at home, here is the complete line-up of SFL smaller satellite platforms:

  • 3U THUNDER – 3-6kg Performance CubeSat
  • 6U SPARTAN – 6-12kg Performance CubeSat
  • 12U or 16U JAEGER – 12-24kg Performance CubeSat
  • NEMO – 15-20kg Nanosatellite
  • DEFIANT – 20-50kg Microsatellite
  • NAUTILUS – up to 150kg Microsatellite
  • DAUNTLESS – up to 500kg Small Satellite


Space Flight Laboratory Confirms Successful Orbital Deployment of HawkEye 360 Cluster 6 Microsatellites
Jan 30 2023
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Awarded Development and Production Support Contract for 15 Additional HawkEye 360 Radio Frequency Geolocation Microsatellites Flex Production Underway
Nov 15 2022
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Completes On-Orbit Commissioning of HawkEye 360 Clusters 4 and 5 Microsatellites
Oct 11 2022
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Nears Completion of GHGSat Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Constellation Core Satellites
Sep 19 2022
GHGSat doubles capacity in record time following launch and operationalization of three new satellites
Aug 11 2022
Space Flight Laboratory Announces Successful Deorbiting of Nanosatellite with Drag Sail Technology. Sails Reduced Time as Space Debris by 178 Years
Jun 13 2022
Six Microsatellites Built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) of Toronto Launched Aboard SpaceX Transporter-5 Mission - 36 SFL-Built Satellites Launched in Past Two Years
Jun 02 2022
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) and GHGSat Announce Successful Testing of Three New Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Satellites
May 05 2022
Hawkeye 360 Launches Next-generation Cluster 4 Satellites
Apr 01 2022
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Awarded Contract to Build Next Three Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Microsatellites for GHGSat
Mar 22 2022
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Wins NASA Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition Contract for Small Satellites
Feb 23 2022
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to Develop Two Small Satellites for NASA Astrophysics Pioneers Program
Jan 25 2022
SFL Makes Top Ten list of Satellite Solution Providers list by "Aerospace & Defense Review" magazine
Dec 20 2021
SFL Honored by International Astronautical Federation (IAF) as Member of the Month
Nov 02 2021
Critical Microspace Technologies for Successful Earth Observation
Sep 07 2021
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Awarded Norwegian Space Agency Contract to Build NorSat-4 Maritime Tracking Microsatellite
Aug 09 2021
Three HawkEye 360 Formation-Flying Microsatellites Built By Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Successfully Launched
Jul 01 2021
NASA Selects Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) for StarBurst SmallSat Mission
Jun 28 2021
Why Small Satellites and the ‘Microspace’ Approach are Keys to Developing a National Earth Observation Program
Jun 03 2021
Norwegian Space Agency Announces Launch of NorSat-3 Maritime Tracking Microsatellite Built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL)
Apr 29 2021
Microspace Technology Enables All Countries to Reap the Benefits of National Earth Observation Programs
Apr 16 2021
Dubai Municipality Announces Launch of DMSat-1 Atmospheric Monitoring Microsatellite Built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL)
Mar 22 2021
Dubai Municipality and MBRSC to launch region’s first environmental nanometric satellite on March 20
Mar 11 2021
Blog - Quality is Not Synonymous with Standards
Mar 03 2021
GHGSat-C2 Captures First Methane Plume a Week After Launch
Feb 20 2021
Norway Selects Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to Develop Technology Demonstrator Microsatellite
Feb 16 2021
Slovenia Releases Color Image from NEMO-HD Microsatellite Built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) in Collaboration with SPACE-SI
Feb 08 2021
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Announces Successful Launch of 12 Satellites on SpaceX Ride-Sharing Mission
Jan 26 2021
Blog-Systems Engineering vs the CubeSat Kit
Jan 11 2021
HawkEye 360’s Cluster 2 Smallsats Ship To Cape Canaveral For Upcoming Launch
Jan 08 2021
SatTV interviews SFL’s Dr. Robert E. Zee
Nov 24 2020
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Awarded Contract by GHGSat Inc. to Build Three More Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Microsatellites
Nov 16 2020
GHGSat Reports Smallest Methane Emission Ever Detected from Space with Microsatellite Developed by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL)
Oct 22 2020
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Announces Launch of Two Satellites
Oct 08 2020
Space Flight Laboratory Announces Launch of Atmospheric Monitoring and Earth Observation Microsatellites
Sep 04 2020
Blog - Disruptive vs Operational Mission Strategies
Aug 12 2020
Blog - Join SFL at the Virtual SmallSat 2020
Jul 31 2020
Blog - SFL Serving Both NewSpace and MicroSpace Missions
Jul 29 2020
Blog - AISSat-1 Maritime Vessel Tracking Nanosat Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Jul 22 2020
Jul 17 2020
Blog - SFL Comprehensive Microspace Mission Development Includes Ground Segment
Jul 06 2020
Blog - Autonomous Formation Flying Enables Multi-Satellite Applications – Part 2
Jun 01 2020
Blog - Autonomous Formation Flying Enables Multi-Satellite Applications – Part 1
May 22 2020
Blog - What’s Under Development at SFL? Atmospheric Monitoring Missions
Apr 27 2020
Blog - What’s Under Development at SFL? Ship Tracking and Remote Sensing Missions
Mar 26 2020
Blog - SFL and Kepler Collaboration Featured on SatTV News
Feb 14 2020
Space Flight Laboratory and Kepler Communications Announce Collaboration on Fully Operational Nanosatellite Constellation
Feb 03 2020
Blog - What’s Under Development at SFL? Commercial GHGSat and HE360 Missions
Jan 13 2020
Blog - Attitude Control Crucial for Practical Applications of Small Satellites – Part 2
Dec 16 2019
Blog - Attitude Control Crucial for Practical Applications of Small Satellites – Part 1
Dec 09 2019
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