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


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
Blog - Do Microspace Companies Have a Role in the NewSpace Era?
Nov 15 2019
HawkEye 360 Awards Contract to Build Next-Generation Satellite Constellation to Achieve Rapid Revisit for Global Spectrum Awareness
Sep 18 2019
Space Flight Laboratory to Build HawkEye 360 Next-Gen Microsatellite Cluster for Commercial Radio Frequency Geolocation
Mar 27 2019
Canada Awards Contracts In Support of Arctic Surveillance
Feb 01 2019
Arianespace to Launch Slovenian NEMO-HD Microsatellite
Dec 03 2018
HawkEye 360 Announces Successful Launch of First Three Satellites Built by SFL Under Contract to DSI
Dec 03 2018
A New Star in the Sky
Nov 20 2018
GHGSat selects Arianespace to launch GHGSat-C1 on Vega
Nov 15 2018
UTIAS-SFL Students Win Significant Awards for their Technical Papers
Aug 14 2018
SFL-Led Nanosatellite Team Receives Canadian Alouette Award for Precise Autonomous Formation Flight
May 17 2018
NorSat-3 Ordered by Norwegian Space Centre, Satellite Under Construction at SFL
Jan 10 2018
Norwegian AIS Satellites See Far More Ships
Jan 10 2018
BRITE Reveals Spots on Supergiant Star Drive Spirals in Stellar Wind
Oct 24 2017
CLARA on NorSat-1 Successfully Switched on for the First Time
Aug 25 2017
Norwegian Satellites Launched Successfully and Healthy
Jul 14 2017
GHGSat Unveils Satellite Imagery
May 23 2017
Dubai Space Centre Orders Environmental Monitoring Satellite from SFL
May 16 2017
After Only One Week, CanX-7 Shows Drag Sails are Effective at Deorbiting Satellite
May 11 2017
CanX-7 Successfully Deploys Drag Sails kicking off Deorbiting Demonstration
May 04 2017
GHGSat Announces 1000th Measurement – Two Months Ahead of Schedule
Apr 07 2017
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Nanosatellite Validates Aircraft Tracking, Prepares for Deorbit Demo
Mar 30 2017
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to Develop Microsatellites for Greenhouse Gas Monitoring
Mar 24 2017
CanX-7 Aircraft Tracking and Deorbiting Demo Satellite Launched, Contacted, and Healthy
Sep 26 2016
GHGSat-D (CLAIRE) Bus Commissioning Ahead of Schedule
Jun 27 2016
M3MSat Launched and Successfully Contacted
Jun 22 2016
GHGSat-D (CLAIRE) Launches Successfully and First Contact Indicates Good Health
Jun 22 2016
Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission
May 26 2016
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to Provide LEO Bus to SSL
May 10 2016
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