Artist impression: launching small satellites using commercial and military infrastructure

In the ALOSS project, the National Aerospace Laboratory is researching possibilities for developing an affordable launching system for external parties.

ALOSS is an abbreviation of ‘Affordable Launch Opportunities for Small Satellites. At present, the costs associated with launching small satellites (1-20 kg) are too high; consequently, small, relatively inexpensive satellites are often launched together with larger satellites, and at lower costs. However, for the small satellite, a major disadvantage is that the primary client determines the final destination and launch date. This leads to various limitations, whereby the full potential of small satellite’s mission is not always reached. There are presently no affordable dedicated launching systems available for small satellites.  ALOSS therefore is studying the possibilities for creating such a system.

The ALOSS project involves collaboration with relevant national and international partners, which strengthens the NLR’s position as one of the stakeholders. The multidisciplinary knowledge and know-how present within the NLR are combined and utilised. Primary reasons for conducting ALOSS are to develop knowledge and technology, and to proactively participate in (commercial) aerospace product development. As such, we innovate with a focus on the market, while also increasing our competitive position.

Pioneering Projects
ALOSS is NLR’s first Pioneering Project: an innovative project that was selected following an internal competition in which NLR researchers were asked to propose challenging projects that involved market-focused research and knowledge development, and in which a multidisciplinary approach was a main element.

Given the success of ALOSS, in 2012 NLR will continue with its Pioneering Projects, which will also partly focus on developing innovative, market-focused technology.