United Nations/Austria/ESA Symposium on Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development
"Implementing Small Satellite Programmes: Technical, Managerial, Regulatory and Legal Issues"

13-16 September 2011, Graz, Austria

2011 Symposium Title


The United Nations, with the support of the Government of Austria and the European Space Agency, organized the final in a series of three UN/Austria/ESA Symposiums on Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development, held in Graz, Austria, from 13 to 16 September 2011.

The Symposiums are part of the Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI), an initiative in the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications aiming to support capacity building in basic space technology and to promote the use of space technology and its applications for sustainable development. The first Symposium was held from 8-11 September 2009, and the second Symposium from 21-24 September 2010.

The Symposium in 2011 focused on "Implementing Small Satellite Programmes: Technical, Managerial, Regulatory and Legal Issues" and addressed the following objectives:

  • Review the latest status of world-wide small satellite (<100 kg) activities, with a particular focus on international and regional cooperation;
  • Examine issues relevant to the implementation of small satellite programmes, such as space technology development activities as part of a country's or organisation's research and development strategy, financing, programmatic issues, and project management of small satellite programmes;
  • Elaborate on regulatory issues of small satellite programmes, such as frequency allocation and space debris mitigation measures;
  • Elaborate on legal issues of small satellite programmes, such as the registration of satellites and launching state liabilities;
  • Discuss the way forward for the Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI), in particular the organisation of regional conferences and the development of an education curriculum for aerospace engineering.

The Symposium Programme consisted of a series of invited technical presentations with sufficient time set aside for presentations by participants on their relevant activities. Participants discussed the following topics in dedicated sessions:

  • Review of Small Satellite Programmes World-Wide: Among other issues this session will discuss experiences with and challenges of establishing small satellite programmes and opportunities for international and regional cooperation.
  • Programmatic and Managerial Issues: This session will consider general issues of programme and project management related to small satellite programmes and projects as well as operational issues, including ground and space segment operation. Standardization efforts and the identification and arrangement of launch opportunities for small satellites will also be discussed.
  • Regulatory and Legal Issues: Several regulatory and legal aspects have to be taken into account when implementing small satellite programmes. The session will cover the registration and allocation of frequencies with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the registration of satellites, launching state liabilities and space debris mitigation measures.
  • Working Groups on the Future of BSTI: Time will be set aside for work in dedicated Working Groups which will address specific issues related to the Symposium theme and in particular the plan for the future work to be conducted under the Basic Space Technology Initiative.

The Symposium targeted participants involved in the planning or implementation of small satellite programmes in relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations, international or national agencies, academic institutions and industry. Applications from qualified female applicants were particularly encouraged.




We encourage all candidates to apply for the Workshop online, as it helps us to streamline the processing of applications.

  • Please use this link if you wish to be considered by co-organizers for full or partial funding support for attending the Symposium.
    Note: The deadline for submission of applications from applicants seeking financial support is 17 June 2011.
  • Please use this link if you have your own funding or your institution provides you with funding for attending the Symposium, and you do not need a financial support from co-organizers.


Note: The Symposium will be held at the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstra├če 6, 8042 Graz, Austria. Registration of participants will start from 8AM on Tuesday, 13 September 2011.


  • Draft Programme (as of 15 September 2011)
    Please note that in addition to the invited presentations listed in the preliminary Draft Programme there will be opportunities for short 5 min presentations by Symposium participants. Participants will be able to sign up for those presentation slots at the Symposium. Within the limitations of the available speaking time , we will strive to offer all participants wishing to deliver a short presentation an opportunity to do so. However, due to the large number of expected participants, we may not be able to accommodate every presentation. If you bring along a .pdf of your paper/report we will include it in the Symposium Proceedings (CD/DVD). Participants considering to bring along posters, information materials or exhibits (e.g. hardware) are encouraged to do so. Kindly let us know, so that we can make any necessary arrangements. For questions regarding the programme, please contact Mr. Werner Balogh (werner.balogh(at)unoosa.org).



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