The main role of large swarms of Smallsats is to replace the functionality of current monolithic spacecraft while increasing the system flexibility and robustness. Such swarms, operating in LEO (Low Earth Oribit) and GEO (Geostationary Orbit), have many potential NASA applications. For instance, Smallsat swarms replacing current space implementations of Synthetic Aperture Radars can substantially decrease the launch cost and cost of deployment. Other applications of Smallsat swarms include sparse aperture sensing, stellar interferometry, and global broadband internet via satellite swarms. Swarms of Smallsats could also provide global real-time space weather monitoring in a way that is presently not possible from a single satellite. A swarm of satellites in orbit can provide a survey of the geomagnetic field and its temporal evolution, and gain new insights into improving our knowledge of the Earth's interior and climate. This will be a great improvement on the current method of extrapolation based on statistics and ground observations. Other applications of Smallsat swarms could be on-orbit visual inspection of larger spacecraft to provide rapid feedback capability for decision making, and protection of large satellites of critical importance.
Due to lower costs of development and launch, several future commercial applications of Smallsat swarms such as remote sensing, on-orbit servicing, and sparse aperture imaging are viable. Smallsat swarms can be used for rapid communication and imaging tasks to provide situational awareness solutions needed by Department of Defense, National Reconnaissance Office, and Department of Homeland Security. New commercial space applications are viable as a result of having low-cost and rapid access to space with focus on mission flexibility and scalability.