A lobby group for the Irish space industry has put out a call for ideas for the development of a small satellite programme for Ireland.

The Irish Space Industry Group (ISIG) says it is pursuing the idea because similar initiatives in other countries have led to growth in the industrial and scientific capability there.

The call aims to determine the level of interest in developing such a programme, with the ideas then used to lobby stakeholders and inform the programme's direction.

The group says it does not have any funding in place yet for any potential mission, but if there is sufficient interest from funding agencies it will pursue the matter further.

ISIG says the scope of the ideas it is inviting is wide, and includes proposals for whole missions, space science, earth observation, spacecraft payloads and technology demonstration, ground segment and others.

"It can be for a service you would like to be provided from space [eg fisheries protection]; a service that you believe will have value to others from space, a technology demonstration mission or a scientific mission," ISIG wrote on its blog.

The group says ideas that address national needs are likely to be most attractive to government, and submissions should clearly set out whether the proposal could lead to further activity as policy here favours such projects.

ISIG says although smaller missions or payloads are easier to plan and pay for, there are no restrictions on the type or size of the missions that can be suggested.

The submissions should be made by March 24, with details of the template and the submission address available at irishspaceindustrygroup.com