Satellite Catalogue

The satellite catalogue is a build-in database in Valispace that consists of components, constants and parameters commonly used in spacecraft design. Watch this tutorial video to learn more:


The catalogue consists of three sections

  1. the Constants

  2. the Orbital parameters

  3. and the Satellite.

In the Constants section, physical constants (e.g. speed of light and gas constant), parameters of the Sun, the Earth, the Moon and the solar system's planets and material and propellant properties are given as Valis. Use the Constants section to quickly import Valis into your project.

The Orbital parameters section gives a set of values for an arbitrary orbit. In here, some orbit parameters are automatically calculated and plotted with a set of input values. Change the input values to your hearts desire to quickly visualise different orbits.

The Satellite section consists of a database of pre-made components. It is split up into 8 subsections, one for every subsystem of a typical satellite. It provides a list of off-the-shelf components as well as "example" components. The off-the-shelf components are imported from trusted sources and can be immediately used in your design. The example components can be used to easily configure your design without the hassle of having to create a lot of new Valis.

Use the off-the-shelf components to quickly build up your design, or simply import a component for the sake of not having to create a lot of Valis. The components contain commonly used parameters which can be easily configured to your own design. The components are named according to their performance in an area important for the respective component. For instance, the name of a thruster contains it's thrust levels and on what type of propulsion system it is based. Furthermore, the components are ordered by their performance in the same area. All components contain a description saying what the source of the data is. This can be used to verify the data and possibly to make purchase orders.

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Accessing the Database

To access the satellite database, go to the Catalogue website. Log in with the following credentials:

  • Username:          catalog
  • Password:           valispace

Export from the Catalogue

After logging in, you should find yourself in the catalogue home screen. To export a component, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the component which you want to export
  • right-click on the component and select "Export JSON". This creates a JSON file containing all the information about the component.
  • Save the file somewhere where you can easily find it.


Import from the Catalogue

To import a component, follow these steps:

  • Navigate in your own Valispace deployment to the location in your project where you want to import the component
  • Right-click the to-be parent component and select "Import JSON"
  • Either drag-and-drop the JSON file from your local machine into the dialog box or click on the dialog box to manually navigate to the directory where you saved the file

The component is now imported into your project.


A Walkthrough Tutorial - Building a Satellite

As an example, we will now take you through some possible steps taken in setting up a satellite project. Right now, we are going to design a mission for an Earth satellite.

Firstly, import the Orbital parameters section. This section consists of a pre-made set of parameters and calculations to quickly calculate and visualise the satellite orbit. Change the Valis of the eccentricity, inclination, mean altitude, semi-major axis and true anomaly to the desired values. The other Valis will now be calculated automatically and altitude and velocity graphs will be generated for your orbit. The Orbital Parameters section has its own set of constants, but if required you can customise this to include constants from the Constants section, for instance to perform calculations for other planets.

Velocity graph

Now that the mission outline is present in Valispace, we can start importing components into the satellite. From the mission requirements we know what the required thrust is to get into a good orbit. With this information, we go to the propulsion section and import two 22N Bi-propellant hydrazine engines into the design. The component trees are setup in such a way that it is always easy to find the required components. The 22N thrusters can be found by navigating to: Satellite>Propulsion>Thrusters>10N_100N>22N_Bi_MMH_thruster. We also know that using this bi-propellant engine will require two 7-liters propellant tanks, so we will also import these.

PowerUserTip: Want to verify the component properties or just buy the component outright? Navigate to the information tab within the component and follow the link!

Importing thrusters

Besides the propulsion subsystem, we also have requirements for the power, attitude control and thermal subsystems. From the respective sections we import solar arrays and batteries, attitude sensors and actuators and a cryocooler. We could however not find the correct battery in the catalogue, so instead of using an off-the-shelf battery from the catalogue, we import a battery and change the Valis to our custom specifications.

Changing the Valis

Lastly, we want to make a custom design for the side panels of the satellite. To do this, we create a new component in our project. Since we know that we want to use Titanium for this, but don't want to manually create all the Valis into Valispace, we go to the constants section of the catalogue and import the Ti_6Al_4V annealed Titanium alloy from the material properties tree. With the imported parameters, we can easily size our side panels according to the requirements.

Start Building your own Satellite

Using the examples above, you should now be able to use the catalogue to design your own satellite! If you have further questions or suggestions for improvements, please feel free to contact us.

PowerUserTip: Still cannot be bothered to design your own satellite? You can also simply import a pre-made satellite bus from the structure subsystem!

Thanks to

This catalogue is set-up using components from SatSearch, GOMspace and ISISpace. Links to all products found are included within the components.