Campus Life

Small Satellite Conference Returns to Logan for 36th Annual Meeting

By Caroline Long |

An exhibitor and an attendee talk at SmallSat 2022 at Utah State University's Logan campus on Aug. 8. (Photo credit: Space Dynamics Lab)

Utah State Today regularly highlights work created by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. The following story was published by Utah Public Radio prior to its inclusion in Utah State Today.

Scientists, engineers and other leaders in the field of space technology convened in Logan this week for the 36th Annual Small Satellite Conference. Marianne Sidwell, conference administrator, said the small satellite conference has grown since its first meeting.

“The first conference was in 1987. And it was started by several professors at Utah State University, … so, it probably had 50 people, the first year, and this year we're looking at over 3200 people,” Sidwell said.

Today, small satellites are increasingly used by academics, military organizations, and businesses to obtain information about the space environment and Earth. They also provide images from Earth’s orbit. Most of the attendees at this year’s SmallSat conference represent businesses, Sidwell said.

“And that's more than 50% of our attendance. Probably 20%, 25% is academia, professors and students. And then the rest is kind of broken up with military government entities and others,” Sidwell said.

Sidwell said over 40 countries are represented at this year’s conference. In 2020, when the SmallSat conference was held entirely virtually, around 80 countries were represented.

“So we know the interest is worldwide, and there's a lot of interest in our conference. But yeah, this year now coming back live, we weren't sure how it was going to go, with two years off — but it's, it's amazing. We're just thrilled,” Sidwell said.

As the conference grows, it continues to be held each year in Logan.

“And that's not necessarily the most convenient place to hold a conference. But it's very important to our local community, both economically and it brings attention to the space programs at Utah State University and at Space Dynamics Lab,” Sidwell said.

The conference showcasing innovations in space technology concludes today. For more information about SmallSat, visit

Conference attendees walk past the Taggart Student Center during the Small Satellite Conference on Aug. 8, 2022, in Logan, Utah. (Photo credit: Space Dynamics Lab)


Caroline Long
Science Reporter
Utah Public Radio


Eric Warren
Director, Public Relations
Space Dynamics Laboratory


Space 133stories Satellites 67stories

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