1st International Symposium on Very Low Earth Orbit Missions and Technologies

14 – 15 January 2021

The University of Manchester

Many satellite applications benefit from operating closer to the Earth, from improved resolution for remote sensing, to reduced latency and greater frequency reuse for communications, and all with improved link budgets. However at altitudes below 450 km the effects of the residual atmosphere, in terms of drag and atomic oxygen erosion, become significant and define the upper limit for Very Low Earth Orbits (VLEO).  These atmospheric interactions offer benefits as well as challenges: space debris is short lived, as are the platforms that operate in VLEO once orbit maintenance is ceased. Nevertheless, satellites that operate there must contend with the challenges, and can be optimised through the use of low drag configurations, materials, propulsion and control to maximise performance.

This symposium aims to bring together the industrial, academic, and policy-making community involved in, or with aspirations for, VLEO missions to share operational experience, relevant technology development, and and current and future applications in the market.  It will provide speaking and networking opportunities to discuss synergies, opportunities for collaboration, and the development of both technology and business roadmaps for VLEO Missions and Technologies.


Given the continuing impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and resulting restrictions, we decided to transition the 1st International Symposium on Very Low Earth Orbit Missions and Technologies to a hybrid event.

As this event will be ran both onsite & virtually, in the event of the cancellation of the onsite event due to possible ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, we will offer you the opportunity to attend the virtual event only and refund the difference in the cost.

Registration Fees:

Early-bird tickets:

The early booking price is only available until the 1st December after this date the price will increase to £350 Standard Rate and £250 Student Rate.

  • Standard: £250.00 *
  • Student: £150.00 *

Virtual participation fees:

  • Standard: £150.00 *
  • Student: £100.00 *

* all prices incl. VAT.

Join us for this conference from the convenience of your desk or grab one of the limited numbers of seats on-site. Sign up now!


Call for Extended Abstracts:

All participants are also welcome to submit an extended abstract  (Deadline 15 October 2020). Acceptance for a full paper or poster session will be confirmed by mid-November. Selected papers will be published in the special issue of CEAS Space Journal.

We welcome abstracts covering the following topic areas:

  • Very low Earth orbit (<450 km) operational experience
  • Mission designs and concepts for VLEO
  • Propulsion systems for drag compensation and control in VLEO including atmosphere breathing electric propulsion
  • Orbital aerodynamic attitude and orbit control including relative motion control
  • Materials and experiments for reducing aerodynamic drag or producing useable lift in VLEO
  • Business Models and success factors
  • Technological and business roadmaps for VLEO Missions and Technologies

Please submit your abstract here.


Sponsorship opportunities:

The lead sponsor for the symposium is the DISCOVERER project (https://discoverer.space), an EU funded Horizon 2020 programme developing technologies to enable commercially viable, sustained operation for satellites in VLEO.  Other sponsorship opportunities will be available.

For further information, please contact contact@discoverer.space.

Meeting Venue:
Barnes Wallis Building, The University of Manchester, Sackville Street Campus, Manchester M1 7JA, United Kingdom

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