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.

The registration for the symposium will open on 1st August 2020.
Early-bird rates are available until 1st December 2020.

Call for Extended Abstracts:

We would like to invite you to submit an abstract. 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.

Deadline for abstract submission is October 15, 2020. Acceptance for a full paper or poster session will be confirmed by mid-November.

Sponsorship opportunities:

The lead sponsor for the symposium is the DISCOVERER project (, 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

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

Privacy Notice:
You can check out the Privacy Notice here.