Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of CAS (IAMCAS) is one of the major microsatellite innovation research institutes of China. The primary fields of IAMCAS include micro-to-pico-scale satellite development and related technological innovation. So far, IAMCAS has launched 76satellites into the space with no failure. These include the new-generation Beidou navigation satellites, the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), the Quantum Experiment satellite at Space Scale (QUESS), the companion microsatellite for Shenzhou spacecraft, and the Taiji I satellite. IAMCAS has become a strong driving force in Chinese scientific satellite development. It is also a leader in the application and commercial satellite industry.
IAMCAS is functioning on a “One institute, three locations” mode. The three locations include the Lingang headquarter, the Zhangjiang campus and the Songjiang campus. Currently, IAMCAS has more than 700 staff members for scientific research and administration work, 88% of which are postgraduates and doctors. The average age of staff is 34. Half of the staff has been actively involved in the development process of particular satellite missions.
The three locations of IAMCAS cover a total area of more than 95,000 square meters. There are 7 AIT halls with capability to perform mechanical, thermal, and noise tests as well as microwave chamber experiments. IAMCAS is capable of holding 30 to 50 1000-kg-scale or more than 100 micro/nano-scale satellites at the same time. The Zhangjiang campus covers a 27,000-square-meter area of quality control tests, mechanical control analysis, space environment study and satellite assembly. The Songjiang campus covers 34,000 square meters and is currently under construction. Once completed, it will be equipped with two pulse construction lines, an intelligent 3-D warehouse, and a robotized logistics distribution system. The campus will achieve whole-process digital acquisition and management and volume production for satellites under 500 kg. The maximum output can reach 300 satellites per year.
The major academic fields of IAMCAS covers satellite system and engineering, both in theory and technology. The five key branches are telecommunication, remote sensing, navigation, micro/nano satellites and scientific satellites.
IAMCAS has set up its organization structure based on these five branches. The telecommunication division targets the development of telecommunication satellites with a focus on electronics and aero-craft design. It aims at the improvement of complicated satellite system design. The navigation division is responsible for the development of navigation satellites. The major task for this division is to develop high-reliability, long-lifespan, and autonomous-controlled satellites thus to enhance the capability of space infrastructure. The remote sensing division aims at remote Earth observation and probing. The purpose of research is to build a network of remote sensing constellations and to lower the cost and better serve the demands of the military as well as marine studies. The scientific satellites division focuses on space research. Its key technologies include the “hyper stable & hyper accurate” platform and the integration design of payloads and platforms. The micro/nano satellite division focuses on the research of spectrumized, intelligent and mass production of micro/nano satellites. Its goal is to achieve maximum function and minimum cost in satellite design.
IAMCAS has a New Technology Center that aims at the most cutting-edge research in the satellite domain. There is also a Technology Development Center in charge of the verification of key technologies in satellite engineering and product development. Besides, there is a Multi-Media Satellite Department. It is responsible for the development of low-orbit internet satellites for worldwide commercial use.