immimagery @ stock.adobe.com
A satellite that weighs between one and ten kilograms, able to orbit the Earth at an altitude of 520 kilometers, providing less latency compared with 36,000 km for conventional satellites. It varies from palm-to-tablet size and costs a fraction of the conventional satellite. It is usually equipped with an operating system with local storage, two-way communication protocol, selected nanosensors, and cameras. They also include solar panels to generate energy and a satellite propulsion mechanism to avoid debris in space.
Its uses vary from image capture to monitoring the environment, bodies of water, wildlife, crops, and the effects of climate change. Currently, it is being deployed in constellations (groups of satellites) to enhance 5G connectivity and becoming a key technology in supporting IoT systems.