The Planetary CubeSats Symposium

August 16-17 2018, an activity of Goddard’s Planetary Cubesat Science Institute (PCSI)

The 3rd Planetary CubeSat Science Symposium will be held at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on August 16-17 2018 in B34-W150, with the participation of CubeSat/SmallSat scientists and developers. Discussions will include current missions, mission concepts, and opportunities for future mission selections. The sessions will also include panel discussions about strategic and technical aspects of planetary small satellite missions, and an afternoon poster session providing mission proposers the opportunity to meet with vendors and suppliers.

Schedule and program

Day 1 - Thursday August 16th 2018

09:00 to 09:30 Welcome and NASA/HQ presentation - Chair: Geronimo Villanueva
09:30 to 10:30 Lessons learned session – Chair: Michael Johnson
10:30 to 11:00 break
11:00 to 12:30 Mission concepts and ideas – Chairs: V. Cottini and T. Stubbs
12:30 to 01:30 Lunch break
01:30 to 03:00 CubeSat instrumentation – Chairs: S. Guzewich and T. Hewagama
03:00 to 03:30 break
03:30 to 05:00 Posters session
07:00 Group dinner in Annapolis (meals/drinks not covered)

Day 2 - Friday August 17th 2018

09:00 to 10:00 CubeSat buses – Chair: Tilak Hewagama
10:00 to 10:30 Subsystems I (Propulsion) – Chair: Dave Folta
10:30 to 11:00 break
11:00 to 12:30 Subsystems II (GNC, comms, software, power) – Chair: A. Cudmore and J. Le Moigne
12:30 to 01:30 Lunch
01:30 to 03:00 The future of CubeSats, new opportunities – Chair: Larry Kepko


Registration is now closed.

Oral talks

Oral talks are all 15 mins in length except where otherwise indicated in the program for the opening keynote address. A laptop computer will be provided for presentations. Presenters will not be permitted to use their own computers to present, to avoid lengthy hand-overs between talks, unless exception circumstances apply. If you need to use your own computer (e.g. due to a need for custom display software) please contact the organizers – your talk may be moved to the end of the session in this case. Please bring your talk on a USB memory stick to the front of the room between 800-830 for uploading and checking/testing, or preferably send by e-mail the day before to Presentations should be designed either as PowerPoint (PPTX), or provided as PDF files if designed using other software. After the event, talks will be uploaded to the website, unless the presenter requests otherwise. Speakers will be given 12 mins for each talk, followed by 3 mins for changeover. Questions will be taken at the end of each session.


Posters will be presented on free-standing easels, on 36"x48" backing boards. Foam-core backing boards will be provided to poster presenters, along with attachment pins or clips. Poster presenters who are requesting a table to show hardware or set-up a laptop, and/or electrical connections, should e-mail to make arrangements a week before the conference.

Recording policy

No recording of talks or taking of pictures will be permitted during the oral sessions. Attendees are encouraged to discuss with the speakers during the breaks if they have requests for electronic copies of any presented materials. Photography of posters must be with permission of the poster presenter.


Plan to arrive at the NASA Main Gate (Building 9) between 730 and 800 AM if you are a visitor and collecting a badge. Park in the visitor lot outside the gate and proceed inside the reception building to collect your badge. Photo ID is required for US citizens and non-citizens. Non-citizens should bring a passport. The Symposium is taking place in the Obenschain Auditorium on the second floor of Building 34-W150 (See map). After collecting your badge you can return to your car and drive to Building 34, showing your badge and photo ID to the guard at the gate. Park in any nearby parking lot, except for marked reserved or disabled spaces. Coffee will be available prior to the start of the Symposium at 800-830 outside the room.

Previous Symposiums

The 1st Goddard CubeSats Symposium (2016)
The 2nd Goddard CubeSats Symposium (2017)

Organizing committee

Geronimo Villanueva (GSFC, chair)
Valeria Cottini (UMD/GSFC)
Alan Cudmore (GSFC)
Dave Folta (GSFC)
Scott Guzewich (GSFC)
Tilak Hewagama (UMD/GSFC)
Michael Johnson (GSFC)
Larry Kepko (GSFC)
Jacqueline Le Moigne (GSFC)
Timothy Stubbs (GSFC)