SmallSat 2023 Recap

Here is the Maryland Filter Guy’s quick reacap on the recently completed SmallSat Conference at Utah State University. The Exhibition portion of SmallSat kicked off at 11am on Monday. Traffic on the show floor was impressive as everyone is accustomed to the odd (to me) starting time for the first day. The high activity level continued throughout the week, and we even made some nice connections on Thursday as the Exhibition was winding down. I had several productive meetings, visiting with existing and potentially new customers.


The Conference portion started over the weekend with presentations from Researchers and Academia.  While I did not attend these sessions, all reports from those who did tell me that the sessions were informative on topics such as Mission Payloads, Advanced Technologies, and Educational Program Creation. Monday afternoon brought Dr. Tompkins from DARPA and her Keynote address. Having an influential member of government / industry presenting their thoughts is a testament to how significant this Conference and Exhibition is. The Ice Cream Social with treats from the USU’s Aggie Ice Cream was a nice way to begin to close out day 1. Following the day’s conference events, USU’s Space Dynamics Laboratory hosted their traditional Opening Social at their facility. By the looks of it, nearly all Conference participants were there.


Tuesday’s action included Poster Sessions, SmallSat Swifties, NASA Short Talks and another busy day in the booth. The historical highlight of the day was the SmallSat Lifetime Achievement Awards presented to Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, the founder and executive chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Dr. Rudy Panholzer, a Naval Postgraduate School Professor and longtime Space Systems Academic Group Chair. These awards are well-deserved to two who have dedicated their academic and professional careers to Space and our industry.


Wednesday brought us the Student Competition (of which Reactel was a Sponsor), more Poster sessions and Swifties and (thankfully) another Ice Cream Social! The Student Competition was quite impressive, and seeing their work left me with the impression that the industry’s future is in very capable hands. First place (and a $10,000 prize) went to Abigail Lee from Queen’s University (Faculty Advisor – Brent Brakeboer) for her work on Star Tracker Algorithm Improvements to Restore Performance After Radiation Exposure.


Thursday was a short day for the Conference and Exhibits, but no less action-packed.  There was another round of Posters and Swifties, then the Mission of the Year Award and Poster Awards.


Many thanks to everyone who stopped by the Reactel Booth; we are grateful for your time with us. If you missed us this year, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, Jim Assurian (, for your Filter, Multiplexer or Multifunction Assembly needs.  I look forward to hearing from you!  We already have our sights on SmallSat 2024 next August and hope to see you there.