Smallsat trend

The privately-owned company York Space Systems pushes forward a trend: making spaceflight affordable. Hence building the S-CLASS satellite platform that can easily adapt to customer needs at low cost. The reduction of launch costs is an important topic for the space company too, constantly developing new ideas to making space applications a real option even for smaller companies and organizations. The small satellite is powered in orbit by 4 deployable solar arrays, for which York Space Systems selected STI as supplier for the photovoltaic assemblies.

 SpaceTech York solar arrays CLN VibrationS-CLASS satellite with STI photovoltaic assembly (Source: York Space Systems)

The privately-owned company York Space Systems pushes forward a trend: making spaceflight affordable. Hence building the S-CLASS satellite platform that can easily adapt to customer needs at low cost. The reduction of launch costs is an important topic for the space company too, constantly developing new ideas to making space applications a real option even for smaller companies and organizations. The small satellite is powered in orbit by 4 deployable solar arrays, for which York Space Systems selected STI as supplier for the photovoltaic assemblies.

STI solar array

Speaking “the same language,” SpaceTech is always aiming for reduction of production costs and reducing lead times, using innovative techniques and thinking outside the box. The automated solar cell laydown is one of the advantages STI solar arrays gained in 2018 and has now been proved successful with the first S-CLASS platform in orbit, verifying the technology and opening the way for significantly lower solar array lead times and costs for future missions.  

Launch

The satellite was launched as the primary spacecraft on 5 May 2019 and is successfully operating in orbit since then. Remarkable: It took less than 3.5 months, from first hardware at York Space System Facilities to launch site delivery.

STI is proud to be part of this mission and looking forward to further cooperation.

 

We are proud to announce being part of the Lidar Emitter and Multispecies greenhouse gases
Observation INstrument project - short LEMON, a H2020 funded activity.
The LEMON consortium consists of 8 partners from 4 different countries, including academic experts,
research centres and SME partners.

lemon dial project introduction background
source: LEMON DIAL project

 
Mission goal

LEMON shall deliver a new DIfferential Absorption Lidar (DIAL)
sensor concept in order to measure greenhouse gases
and water vapour from space and demonstrate the concept
in an airborne campaign.

LEMON features

The innovative LEMON concept is based on a versatile, efficient multispecies Lidar emitter:

  • development of only one space instrument for CO2, CH4, H2O, HDO measurements necessary
  • simultaneous CO2+H2O or H2O HDO measurements possible
LEMON Spacetech Development Grafik CH4
Technology development of LEMON Lidar and
validation of the instrument by an airborne
measurement campaign (source: LEMON DIAL project)
  LEMON Spacetech DIAL Lidar Principle Grafik H552px
DIAL Lidar principle (source: LEMON DIAL
project)
 
SpaceTech development for LEMON

Being part of the LEMON project, STI was elected to develop, manufacture and deliver the so-called LEMON FRUIT
which consists of a wavemeter, controlling unit, tunable absolute reference laser and heterodyne beating detection.
In addition, SpaceTech is responsible for the system planning and evaluation of a future spaceborne LIDAR.

LEMON FRUIT Spacetech Lidar System Grafik
LEMON sub-systems interrelation, TREE: TRansmittEr module, FRUIT: FRequency ReFerence UnIT,
ARM: Acquisition and Reciever Module, SEED: Software and ElEctronics for instruments control and
Data recording (source: LEMON DIAL project)

Growing branches for a spaceborne LEMON LIDAR development
  • Roadmap analysis
  • Sub-units environmental testing
  • Critical components radiation testing
  • Future mission proposals

Visit the LEMON website for further information >

Download LEMON brochure for more details >

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research
and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 821868.

 

The space-bound German-Russian animal monitoring system ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) will start in-orbit commissioning today - 10 July 2019.

Final tests at STI facilities

In this final test phase, ICARUS engineers and scientists are going to check all system components on ground and on board the ISS as well as the tags (transmitters) that collect the animal data, including:

  • Health testing: The ICARUS payload will be switched on after being dormant on the ISS for almost one year. After switch-on the health of all components will be checked.
  • Background noise testing: Since the communication between tags and ISS is based on extremely low-power transmission signals, the ICARUS antenna will globally record the background noise in the used frequency range. The noise map will be analyzed for potential disturbers.
  • Uplink testing: A test ground station at STI facilities in Kippenhausen, Germany will simulate up to 1000 tag signals and transmit them to the ICARUS Antenna on the ISS. Correct reception on the ISS will be verified by recording the transmissions and off-line analysis of the data.
  • Downlink testing: The ICARUS antenna on the ISS cyclically transmits ISS position information essential to establish communication between tag and ISS and commands for the tags. The signals will be received by the Kippenhausen Ground Station and will be evaluated by STI for completeness and correctness.
ICARUS animal tag blackbird
Tagged blackbird
  ICARUS bird migration
Bird migration
ICARUS system

ICARUS is a cooperative project with the Russian space agency Roskosmos and the German Aerospace Center DLR under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz. The ICARUS system was designed and built by SpaceTech GmbH, with contributions from the German SMEs vH&S, Rohde&Schwarz INRADIOS, STT-SystemTechnik and with support of UniBW in München.
ICARUS will provide a global and innovative approach for constant tracking of flying birds and land animals, covering a multitude of regions and species.
The system consists of the ICARUS Antenna, installed on the International Space Station (ISS), as well as the small, ultra-light-weight transmitters, carried by the animal - so called animal tags. The tags collect data of position, magnetic field, humidity, temperature as well as motion of the tracked animal.
The ICARUS antenna on the ISS covers the data reception from >100 animal tags residing within an uplink window of 800 x 30 km and can transmit data to tags in a downlink radius of 660 km.

Mission goal

The ICARUS project will deliver new insight and information about:

  • Wild animal behaviour in changing environments
  • Preservation of biodiversity and endangered wildlife protection
  • Dispersal and migration of animals damaging human food
  • Global disease spreading by animals
  • Earthquakes and other natural catastrophes (early warning system)

ICARUS is expected to be available to the scientific community in winter 2019 upon completion of all the tests.

ICARUS communication antenna tag
Communication between antenna and tag
  ICARUS animal migrations
Visible animal migrations

See video for more mission details here >

Get more insight about the technical side of ICARUS here >

 

February 27th, 2019, Arianespace flight V21 has successfully launched the first six Airbus OneWeb satellites for the global broadband mega constellation. Perfectly on time the medium-lift Soyuz started from Guiana Space Center in Kourou French Guiana at 10.37 p.m. (UTC + 1 h).
1 h and 23 minutes after liftoff the six satellites were successfully separated to the Low Earth Orbit at approximately 1,000 km – close to their operational orbit.

AOS mission Phase 1

The deployment of Phase 1 includes 21 launches with the medium-lift Soyuz through 2020. The launches of the initial constellation of 650 satellites will be affected from three spaceports: Kourou in French Guiana, the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Vostochny in Russia.

AOS mission goal

This mega constellation is planned to grow up to over 900 Airbus OneWeb satellites to meet demand around the globe.
AOS will start customer demos in 2020 with the final goal of 24h global coverage in 2021.

SpaceTech’s part in the mission

STI was selected to develop and deliver the 1800 mechanisms for successful deployment of the satellite’s solar panels.

SpaceTech is proud to announce that we were selected by AOS (Airbus OneWeb Satellites) to deliver 1800 deployment mechanisms for the solar panels of 900 Airbus OneWeb satellites.

Mission goal

The AOS mission is aiming for a mega constellation of satellites to allow for global broadband internet: Affordable access to information for everyone everywhere - throughout all areas, even in the very rural ones that barely have access to internet nowadays.

The first 6 pilot satellites have already been built at Airbus in France - following production will be in the USA. Due to SpaceTech’s flexibility, we were able provide AOS with a QM development of the flight hardware of the carbofibre deployment mechanisms for the solar panels of 10 pilot satellites within only 3 months. They have already been delivered. Thus, SpaceTech proves once again its suitability for the New Space Market, being an experienced, flexible and highly cost-efficient space SME and reliable partner.

Launch

The first six pilot satellites have been launched successfully this February.
The launch start of the mega constellation is planned for beginning of 2020.