Constellations of small satellites—“smallsats”, i.e. low cost, low mass (1-150 kg) and small sized— dominate the news today, touted in applications as wide-ranging as providing universal connectivity, ubiquitous broadband coverage, and daily observation of the Earth. Today, a combination of miniaturized commercial off-the-shelf components (COTS) and satellite technology, coupled with advanced sensors, faster computing, and a need for better actionable imagery, have all acted to usher in a new era for smallsats in the commercial market. In reality, increasingly reliable technology and permissive regulation have enabled ambitious constellation projects that could threaten the telecommunications industry and claim a non-negligible share of the emerging markets. This report surveys the technical and entrepreneurial landscape and uses these insights to develop future adoption scenarios for smallsats in key commercial applications.

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