Satellite bus

A satellite bus (or spacecraft bus) is the main body and structural component of a satellite or spacecraft, in which the payload and all scientific instruments are held.

Communications satellite bus and payload module

Bus-derived satellites are opposed to specially produced satellites. Bus-derived satellites are usually customized to customer requirements, for example with specialized sensors or transponders, in order to achieve a specific mission.[1][2][3][4]

They are commonly used for geosynchronous satellites, particularly communications satellites, but are also used in spacecraft which occupy lower orbits, occasionally including low Earth orbit missions.


Diagram of the James Webb Space Telescope's spacecraft bus. The solar panel is in green and the light purple flats are radiator shades.[5]

Some satellite bus examples include:


A bus typically consists of the following subsystems:[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "TU Delft: Spacecraft bus subsystems". Retrieved 2014-04-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Spacecraft Systems". Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  3. ^ "The James Webb Space Telescope". Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  4. ^ "Antrix Corporation Ltd - Satellites > Spacecraft Systems & Sub Systems". 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  5. ^ "Status of the JWST Sunshield and Spacecraft" (PDF).
  6. ^ Satellite Bus Subsystems Archived 2012-09-05 at the Wayback Machine, NEC, accessed 25 August 2012.

External linksEdit