Microsatellite has been considered as disruptive technologies in satellite engineering. Its development cost and time provide advantages for new kind of Earth observations, telecommunications, and science missions. The increasing trend of microsatellite launches and operations means that the approach was so successful that it could create funding sustainability. Major contributing factors of its success were due to the system design of the microsatellites. This chapter discusses two microsatellite system design approaches, namely Technical University of Berlin heritage and University of Surrey heritage. Both Universities provide approaches for system design and build of microsatellite systems. The design approaches are being compared along with lessons learned. The choices of microsatellites to be compared in this chapter will be those that are manufactured about the same time such that the technology compared is mostly the same and flown in-orbit. The chapter shows that the differences between the two system design approaches are on the choice of main computer and associated link configuration and in the attitude control modes. Another major different is in the satellites’ structure design. For some satellite’s components, incoming technologies have made the design choices from the two schools of thoughts converged.
Part of the book: Satellite Systems