Meetings Blog

October 11, 2017

3rd COSPAR Symposium: Small Satellites for Space Research, Jeju Island, South Korea, Sept 18-22, 2017

by Adarsh Deepak, Ph.D., JoSS Managing Editor

COSPAR 2017 was held at the world-class convention center ICCJEJU, located within the Jungmun Tourist Complex, Jeju, Korea.

Legend has it that the ‘dol hareubangs,’ large rock statues found (as early as 1754) on Jeju Island, are the Island’s guardian and fertility deities (Korean ‘dol’ means ‘stone’).

The 3rd COSPAR Symposium, held on Jeju Island, South Korea, September 18-22, 2017, was a resounding success. Dedicated for the first time to “Small Satellites for Space Research” and spanning most of the COSPAR Scientific Commission and Panel disciplines, the event provided an eye-opening learning experience, both scientifically and technologically.

Traditional Korean dancers entertain at the 3rd COSPAR Symposium Gala Dinner.

In addition, the social and cultural experience encountered during the sightseeing tours and at the gala dinner cultural show made it all the more enjoyable.

The 362 attendees (140 from South Korea and 222 from 36 other countries, including 72 from the USA) presented approximately 431 papers in oral and poster formats, providing an excellent overview of the current progress made, and spurring to action the innovative work that remains to be accomplished.
The Symposium’s Scientific Program included the following presentation formats:

Keynote Speaker: Thomas Zurbuchen, Ph.D., Associate Administrator, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Photo Credit: NASA

  • • Two Keynote Speeches, by Drs. T. Zurbuchen, NASA HQ and S. Nakasuka, U of Tokyo, Japan;
  • • 14 Plenary Talks, by Drs. L. Paxton, JHU/APL, USA; V. Angelopoulos, UCLA, USA; A. Freeman, NASA/JPL, USA; L. Lei, NSSC, China; E. Talaat, NASA HQ; F. Fiore, RAO, Italy; D. Klumpar, MSU, USA; M. Ariel, THSC, Israel; M. Daly, YU, Canada; A. Petrukovich, SRI, Russia; K-WMin, KAIST, Korea; F. Masaki, JAEA, Japan;
  • • 210 Scientific Session Papers, including Invited Papers; and
  • • 105 Poster Session Papers.

For the full program, see

Young-deuk Park, Ph.D., Chair, SPC, KASI, Korea

Jong Uk Park (James), Ph.D., LOC Co-Chair, KASI, Korea

Jean-Louis Fellous, Chair, COSPAR Finance Committee, Netherlands


Plenary Speaker: David Klumpar, Ph.D., Montana State University, USA

Established in 1958, the COSPAR (Committee on Space Research, ), is part of the International Council for Science (ICSU, after its former name, International Council of Scientific Unions): . The stated mission of COSPAR is first and foremost “Service to the International Space Science Community,” but it also includes “Service to Developed Space Programs and Service to Developing Space Programs.” This three-faceted COSPAR mission is achieved by organizing: (i) Scientific Commissions & Panels, Publications & Scientific Roadmaps, and Education & Outreach; (ii) Scientific Assemblies, Panel on Planetary Protection (3P), and Service to Developed Space Programs; and (iii) Off-Assembly Year Symposia, Capacity Building Workshops, and Service to Developing Space Programs.

Invited Speaker: Lika Guhathakurta, Ph.D. Astrophysicist/Heliophysi-cist, NASA HQ, USA

The COSPAR Symposium, which includes multidisciplinary and training sessions, aims to promote space research at a regional level in emerging countries and will be held every two years in different parts of the world. The first symposium was held at Bangkok, Thailand, in 2013, on “Planetary Systems of our Sun and other Stars, and the Future of Space Astronomy.” The second was at Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, in 2015, addressing “Water and Life in Universe.”
During the Symposium, an ad hoc COSPAR Forum on “Small Satellites for Space Science (4S) COSPAR Roadmap” was chaired by Rudolf von Steiger, Ph.D., International Space Science Institute, Switzerland, in the absence of his co-chair. While the purpose of the Symposium presentation was to give an interim report of the Forum’s work to date, the ad hoc Forum was to solicit input and critiques from the community at large. The 4S COSPAR Roadmap Forum’s motivation and deliverables may be culled from the abstract of Dr. von Steiger’s invited Symposium talk and at his web site (, as follows:
An international study team of scientist and engineering leaders working under the auspices of COSPAR is embarking on a two-year project to develop an international scientific roadmap on Small Satellites for Space Science (4S), focusing particularly on CubeSats and CubeSatTechnology-enabled small satellites. This effort is motivated by recent progress and results summarized in a published report (Zurbuchen, von Steiger et al., Performing High-Quality Science on CubeSats, Space Research Today, Vol. 196, pp. 10-30, August 2016) and a study by the US National Academies (Zurbuchen, Lal et al., Achieving Science with CubeSats: Thinking Inside the Box, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2016).
The scientific roadmap will be developed by a study team that covers a broad range of scientific disciplines, including scientists and engineers from universities, public research institutions, and industry. Six specific themes will be addressed, in a forward-looking plan that should be of value to space agencies and their supporting governments around the globe:

1) The current status and use of CubeSats for science, their technological capabilities, and their key successes to date;
2) The scientific potential of small satellites both as stand-alone targeted missions, but also as secondary payloads, and as constellations and swarms;
3) The role of participating agencies and industry in developing standardized approaches to the development of spacecraft (hardware and software), and also ground-systems, etc., that enables this science;
4) The policies that support the growth of the number and types of CubeSats and CubeSat technology-enabled small satellites, related to communications and frequency allocation, orbital debris, and launch vehicles;
5) Successful models for international collaboration between teams developing and operating small missions, and how are data being shared and preserved for the future; and
6) The mechanism for participating international universities learn from each other to share lessons learned and drive international collaborations in this rapidly moving field.
Progress on the 4S COSPAR Roadmap is scheduled to be presented at the 42nd COSPAR General Assembly, Pasadena, California, USA, July 14-22, 2018.

Lennard Fisk, Ph.D., COSPAR President, USA, presenting awards at the Gala dinner.

For their meticulous planning and organization, credit and kudos are due the following:

  • • The Korean COSPAR Committee (KCC), Chair: Dr. Young-deuk Park, (KASI, Korea Astronomy & Space Science Inst.);
  • • Symposium Program Committee (SPC), Chair: Dr. Young-deuk Park (KASI);
  • • Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC). Chair/Co-Chair: Dr. Dong-Hun Lee (Kyung Hee Univ)/ Dr. Jong Uk Park (James) (KASI);
  • • Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Chair/Co-Chair: Dr. Jong Uk Park (James), KASI/ Dr. Seo-gu Lee (KASI).


July 29, 2013

4S Symposium 2012, Portoroz, Slovenia, Jun 4-8, 2012

by Luca Maresi, Ph.D., ESA/ESTEC, 4S Co-Chair
The 4S in the beautiful coastal setting of Portoroz, Slovenia, was attended by 338 persons coming from 35 different Nations representing 200 companies and research institutions. A delegation of 50 Slovenians attended the event, demonstrating that the event reached its objective of promoting Space activities in the new-comer Space Countries. The number of participants increased 20% with respect to 2010 (with 246 participants), even without counting the Slovenian participants.


Photo 1: Coastal View of Portoroz, Slovenia Photo 2: Loc Boloh (CNES) and Dr. Luca Maresi (ESA/ESTC) co-chairs of the 4S Symposium 2012

Photo 3: Daniel Hernandez, retired from CNES and founder of the 4S Symposium, and Luca Maresi, ESA/ESTEC, Co-Chair of 4S Symposium 2012.


Photo Credit: Pat Deepak

February 10, 2012

4th European CubeSat Symposium, Brussels, BE, Jan 30-Feb 1, 2012
3rd QB50 Coordination Workshop, von Karman Institute (VKI),
Rhode-St-Genèse, BE, Feb 2, 2012

by Ravi Deepak, ADP/JoSS
There was a strong showing of “CubeSat-ers” at the 4th Annual European CubeSat Symposium in Brussels, Belgium. The Symposium convened at the prestigious Ecole Royale Militaire, with its guarded entrance on Rue Hobbema (which the taxi drivers would jokingly call “Obama” Street to humor me, noticing my American accent.) The gathering received a warm welcome, offsetting the chill of the Belgium winter. Dr. Ruedeger Reinhard (Photo 6, on left), one of the Symposium’s organizers in 2008, partnered with the von Karman Institute’s Drs. Jean Muylaert (Photo 1, 6) and Cem Asma (Photo 1, 2) to host this year’s event, which was conveniently followed up by the 3rd QB50 Coordination Workshop at VKI located 40 km away.


Photo 1: Group photo, Jean Muylaert on the left


Over the two-and-a-half day Symposium, near 80 talks were presented to the audience of more than 200 participants in the Ecole’s main conference hall. The talks were split into 12 sections, addressing such topics as networks/constellations, biology and microgravity experiments, orbital dynamics, and future technologies (refer to Dr. John Hines (photo 3) of NASA Ames Research Center, California, USA, gave an invited paper; he described NASA’s conducting several successful Small-Sat missions in which he was involved, including biological experiments.


Photos 2, 3, 4, 5: Cem Asma, John Hines, Jean-Pierre Contzen, Luca Maresi


Many of the talks and much of the excitement focused on the upcoming QB50 mission and workshop that was to follow the conference. QB50 is a testament to the innovative culture in the Cubesat community. QB50 is being coordinated by the von Karman Institute (VKI), specifically Dr. Reinhard, Dr. Muylaert, and Dr. Asma ( This Workshop marked the third of the series, and the first after the European Space Agency (ESA) funded the project’s management in November 2011. The proposal deadline for QB50 is scheduled for the end of March, 2012; and based on the unexpectedly large number of participants in attendance at the QB50 Workshop, it seemed that it would be fairly easy to fill the 50 slots.


Cem was impressed by the reception of the workshop, as the attendees overflowed the auditorium. But it showed the excitement and enthusiasm of the Cubesat-ers to participate in such a massive undertaking. Many countries both inside and outside of the European Union have embraced QB50, showing the connectivity of the CubeSat community. The QB50 steering committee (Photo 6) is currently composed of 11 key people, including Drs. Jean Muylaert, Ruedeger Reinhard, Daniel Faber, Cesar Bernal, Jeroen Rotteveel, Alan Smith, Dhiren Kataria, Muriel Richard, Vaios Lappas and Cem Asma.


The network of CubeSats will be deployed in the lower thermosphere, without endangering the International Space Station. Each CubeSat is divided in two payloads, the “scientific” and “functional” units; the QB50 Working Group on Sensor Selection will provide the scientific unit. The “functional” unit will be available for the teams to design, and will include power, cpu, telecommunications. It seems as though already a handful of Cubesat companies have designed the “functional” units, or will do so to assist the teams.


Photo 6: Group photo, Ruedeger Reinhard on the left


It was a pleasure to meet several JoSS Editors at the two meetings. We at JoSS are excited to see what lies ahead for the project, and look forward to receiving papers describing original research on different topical areas for publishing in the peer-reviewed Journal of Small Satellites ( ©