CubeSat and SmallSats for Astronomy


A 2020s CubeSat/SmallSat astronomical telescope revolution could evolve small space telescopes from their current nascent state, to becoming a major contributor to astronomical research, similar to the evolution of small ground telescopes. The same inclusive community of practice facilitated process that resulted in small ground robotic telescopes becoming full research partners could be emulated in the development of small space telescopes. The ground-breaking ASTERIA, SPARCS, and CUTE CubeSat telescopes are pointing the way. Three programs that could enhance this evolutionary process: (1) developing UV and IR CubeSat autonomous telescope constellations for astronomical research, (2) advancing CubeSat telescope technology, and (3) nurturing an inclusive and supportive CubeSat telescope community of practice. By the end of the decade, fleets of CubeSat/SmallSat telescopes could open up the direct use of space telescopes for astronomical research to a large number of professional astronomers and their graduate students, undergraduate and high school student, and citizen scientists

CubeSat Astronomical Telescopes and Research in the 2020s

White paper submitted to the National Academies Astro 2020 Decadal Survey

January 2021 Workshop Announcement


Astrophysics and Heliophysics with CubeSats and SmallSats

Workshop (in the works) for the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society
Phoenix, Arizona, Saturday/Sunday, January 2/3, 2021, 8:00 am – 5:00 PM


January 2020 AAS CubeSat Workshop


CubeSat Astronomy in the 2020s workshop, American Astronomical Society,

Honolulu, Hawaii, January 4, 2020

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April 2019 Calpoly Astronomy CubeSat Workshop

CubeSat Astronomy in the 2020s workshop

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, April 2019

cal poly April 2019 CubeSat Workshop pic

June 2018 SAS CubeSat Workshop


CubeSat Astronomy in the 2020s workshop, Society for Astornomical Sciences,

Ontario, California , June, 2018

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CubeSat Astronomy Network, Conceptual Study 2018

David Rowe, PlaneWave Instruments, Alex Johnson, Charles Van Steenwyk, and Russell Genet California Polytechnic State University

Dave Rowe Chalres Van Steenwyk Alex John
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