Small Satellites Go Viral!
Sociologists are busy in understanding collective behaviour that determines sudden changes in our lives, as the rapid penetration of new consumer products or new trends that define the way we interact, both socially and professionally.
To ‘go viral’, a common expression in the urban dictionary, describes the phenomenon of new trends spreading widely and very rapidly, like viruses. New ideas ‘go global’ within days shifting massive amount of economic resources from one technology sector to another one, wiping out within months the current way of doing business and generating new and unpredictable opportunities.
Smart phones apps of 2.99US$ have eroded the market of video games consoles, social networks have redefined the use of consumer electronics. The list of these events in the ‘global village’ is long. The interactive access to information is growing exponentially since more than a decade, deciding the directions of technology developments, but the Space sector seems untouched by the ‘exponential revolution’ happening on ground. Some visionary attempts seem past and closed history, as the large small constellations for telecom, announced in the late nineties; hypothesis of the space infrastructure for real time imaging have being discussed a number of times, but it never materialized. Why?
Signs of a ‘new space era’ with triple digit small sat constellations are again arising from different players. Have we reached the conditions for small satellites to spread vastly and rapidly, similarly to the consumer products? Are Small Sats ‘going viral’? What is the difference between today and two decades ago about technologies, access to space, ground infrastructures? Are we reaching the ‘tipping point’ to start an ‘epidemic diffusion’ of ‘Small Sats apps’ ?