MetaSat – an open metadata toolkit

MetaSat is an open metadata toolkit for describing small satellite (and even large satellite) missions in a uniform and shareable way..

Optimised for small satellite missions, MetaSat fills an informatics gap. Although there have been a number of relevant metadata sets, there has been a longstanding need for a vocabulary to span these community standards. A vocabulary to annotate the data and information outputs of these satellite missions, to enable search across disparate data repositories, and provide support for application of analytical services to retrieved datasets.

A common problem among small satellite teams is finding information about how other small satellites were put together, what parts worked well, what weren't compatible, what were the mission goals and outcomes. A lot of this information can be found, but it's not usually described in a consistent and searchable way across projects. MetaSat helps by building a uniform language of description which can be embedded into small satellite databases and tools to connect information across projects.

Although a relatively new vocabulary initiative, MetaSat has secured early adoption by SatNOGS, a global network of ground stations that collects, manages & enables access to satellite observations. Also partnering with NASA's Small Satellite Reliability Initiative, and in discussion with NASA concerning implementation of the vocabulary in other areas of its information infrastructure.

As one part of an international engagement, governance and community development strategy, MetaSat is exploring opportunities for community engagement within Australia. Register to find out more about MetaSat and its applications.


Daina Bouquin, Head Librarian, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Daniel Chivvis, Research Fellow and MetaSat Curator, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Contact for more information

Rowan Brownlee. (

This session organised by

Rowan Brownlee & Mingfang Wu

ARCOS Symposium

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Research Support Community Day (RSC Day)

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