The III Meeting on SmallSats: “NEW HORIZONS FOR EARTH OBSERVATION” was held under the direction of Juan Tomás Hernani Burzaco, CEO of SATLANTIS, and Torcuato Battaglia (Course Secretary), as part of the Summer Courses of the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP). This event took place in collaboration with the XII Meeting on Space Telecommunications “NEW HORIZONS FOR SPACE COMMUNICATIONS” by HISPASAT, at the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander (Cantabria), on June 17-19, 2024.

Over these three days, roundtable discussions gathered prominent figures from the space industry, as well as representatives from promising European SMEs, major sector players, Spanish institutional representatives, the Spanish Space Agency (AEE), the European Space Agency (ESA), and various scientific organizations.

The primary objective of the meeting was to discuss the challenges and issues facing the Spanish and European satellite sectors. The sessions provided a unique space for reflection and debate on the future of the space sector in Spain and Europe, highlighting a consolidated, strategic, and diversified sector with new business models. The different sector stakeholders share the common challenge of ensuring continued growth and strengthening, including internationally.

The event analyzed how the sector continues to undergo a revolution driven by large constellations and growing service demand, requiring strategic autonomy and industrial competitiveness. To achieve this, the need for a National Strategic Plan and public-private collaboration, as well as sector competitiveness and evolution, was emphasized.

Roundtable discussions focused on the value chain, with representatives from upstream, midstream, and downstream categories sharing their market perspectives and focusing on addressing end-user needs. The importance of national autonomy and investment capacity was also underscored, aiming to achieve a more competitive international position.

Additionally, keynote presentations highlighted the importance of optical thermal capacity for advanced and crucial applications in Earth observation, such as fire prevention and environmental monitoring.

Juan Tomás Hernani, CEO of SATLANTIS, emphasized the importance of strengthening ties within the space sector: “We share many challenges, teams collaborate, and the core of the space sector’s actors and teams is highly appreciated. We achieve a better understanding of the connections generated by so much interaction between speakers and the audience, marking another circle in the trunk of this tree that we are creating year after year.”

The event concluded with a call to action to continue strengthening collaboration and working together towards a safer and more competitive space future for Europe.

Thanks to the participation of all attendees, speakers, moderators, and organizers, this meeting has proven to be a success once again!