Already, the future for Earth Observation Satellites in low Earth orbits, especially modular CubeSats, is exploding with opportunities. As these opportunities become missions, the total cost of launch and maintaining orbiting assets will continue to decrease. However, planned exploitations of this CubeSat-filled future are already straining at the data limits imposed by limited ground station access and low transceiver power. The direct applications for a stock CubeSat antenna module with a deployable, high gain dish are as immediately diverse as these exploding CubeSat opportunities. One such opportunity, an Earth Observation adaptation of NASA's iSAT CubeSat for the Army, is already becoming a concrete opportunity. Beyond the immediate applications for RF communication, applications of GATR collapsible antenna technology could include modular and scattered interferometric radar systems.
An Army iSAT application is only one example of an emerging military mission archetype with the goal of providing real time "over the horizon" imaging to warfighters in theater. As a manufacturer of highly portable ground stations, GATR is already frequently working with the stakeholders for the programs reaching for this goal, and is poised to help shape the payload planning for their spacecraft platforms. Growth in commercial exploitation of satellite imagery is no less exciting. Google's plans alone feature a drastic increase in imaging assets, not only for entertainment, but for carefully directed data collection. Their acquisition of SkyBox in 2014 greatly accelerates these plans. As the marketable value of remote data collection is demonstrated, the need for high bandwidth communication with the payloads will continue to increase. Distributed and portable communication and RF systems of a variety of forms, especially those near microwave and millimeter wave have emerging areas developing regularly. The "Internet of Things" is connecting devices, rooms, buildings, and people. Commercial area applications of deployed antenna technology are broad, and when these SBIR funded innovations are achieved more interest from industry and government can be expected.