Showing posts with label Satellites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Satellites. Show all posts

08 April, 2024

Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) confirms deployment of HawkEye 360 microsatellite clusters 8 and 9

Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) confirmed that six radio frequency geolocation microsatellites developed for HawkEye 360 of Herndon, Va., have successfully communicated with ground control. The HawkEye 360 Cluster 8 and 9 satellites were launched yesterday at 7:16 pm EDT from Florida aboard the SpaceX Bandwagon-1 Rideshare.

The two new three-satellite clusters bring to 27 the total number of geolocation microsatellites developed by SFL for HawkEye 360, which integrated Cluster 8 at its own plant in Virginia under SFL’s Flex Production Program. For Cluster 9, which represents the next evolution and includes updated payload and platform features, SFL handled the entire process, including development, integration, and testing, at its Toronto facility.

“SFL is proud to play a key role in the development of HawkEye 360’s space assets as it continues to expand and enhance its unparalleled space-based RF data detection and analytics capabilities,” said SFL Director Dr. Robert E. Zee.

12 March, 2024

Airbus-built EUTELSAT 36D satellite shipped inside the BelugaST to its launch site

22nd Airbus-built satellite for EUTELSAT

Fourth Airbus Eurostar Neo satellite delivered



The Airbus-built EUTELSAT 36D geostationary telecommunications satellite has been shipped from Toulouse, France to Sanford, Florida, USA, on board an Airbus BelugaST (A300-600ST). Its next step is the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, where it will be launched into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 later this month. With the advent of the new BelugaXL, based on the larger A330-200 platform, the A300-600 based BelugaST fleet is now fully available for outsized freight transport services globally.

EUTELSAT 36D is based on the latest generation Eurostar Neo geostationary telecommunications satellite and will provide TV broadcasting (DTH) and government services over Africa, Europe and eastern countries and has a planned lifetime of more than 15 years.

Philippe Pham, Head of Telecommunications & Navigation Systems at Airbus, said: “EUTELSAT 36D is the latest milestone of our longstanding partnership with Eutelsat stretching back more than 30 years. It is the 22nd geo satellite we have built for them and will provide extended capacity over Africa and Eurasia.”

With 70 physical Ku-band transponders, the all-electric EUTELSAT 36D will assure all the main legacy missions of EUTELSAT 36B, with enhancements to coverage and performance.

It is the fourth Eurostar Neo in orbit. Eurostar Neo satellites combine increased payload capacity and more efficient power and thermal control systems with reduced production time and optimised costs as part of a fully digitalised production process. EUTELSAT 36D combines 18 kW of electric power with a reduced launch mass of approximately five metric tonnes, enabled by Airbus’ EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) capability, reinforcing Airbus’ position as the world leader in electric propulsion.

The Eurostar Neo family of Airbus telecommunications satellites is based on a next-generation platform and technologies, developed with the support of the European Space Agency (ESA), and others, including the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

This is the third time that a Beluga transport aircraft is delivering an Airbus geostationary satellite to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Previous missions include HOTBIRD 13G on 17 October 2022 and Inmarsat 6-F2 on 30 January 2023. Airbus' ability to offer an autonomous European solution is demonstrated by the transport of the Airbus satellites on the unique Beluga aircraft, a true example of pan-Airbus synergies.




Your travel planning isn’t complete without learning the language—or at least some essential phrases. Fully immerse yourself in the language, or use Phrasebook to learn travel essentials—the choice is yours!

10 March, 2024

Sierra Space Dream Chaser® Spaceplane Successfully Completes First Phase of Pre-Flight Testing

Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company and emerging defence tech prime building a platform in space to benefit and protect life on Earth announced today the successful completion of the initial phase of environmental testing on the revolutionary Dream Chaser® spaceplane, Tenacity®, at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio.

Over the past month, the Sierra Space Dream Chaser and its cargo companion, Shooting Star™, underwent rigorous vibration testing while stacked in launch configuration inside the Mechanical Vibration Facility at the NASA complex. In readiness for launch from Kennedy Space Center, the tests exposed the vehicles to the intense conditions of launch vibrations using the world’s most powerful spacecraft shaker table. See video here.

“We are coming out of years of development, years of hard work and years of resolving tough engineering challenges that come from revolutionary new ways of doing things,” said Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice. “This phase of development illustrates how Dream Chaser and the Shooting Star cargo module will handle the mechanical rigours of launch. This is the year that we transition from development and enter orbital operations – it is the year that changes how we connect space and earth.”

09 March, 2024

EarthCARE goes west for launch..........climate monitoring satellite leaves Europe

The Airbus-built EarthCARE (Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer) spacecraft has left Munich, Germany, and is now on its way aboard an aircraft to its launch site in Vandenberg, California. EarthCARE is planned to be launched in May on a Falcon 9 rocket.

EarthCARE is the most complex Earth Explorer mission in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) FutureEO programme. This new satellite mission will quantify and reduce the uncertainty about the role that clouds and aerosols (tiny atmospheric particles) play in heating and cooling Earth’s atmosphere, contributing to our better understanding of climate change. The spacecraft was developed, built and tested with the involvement of experts from 15 European countries as well as Japan and Canada.

Marc Steckling, Head of Earth Observation, Science and Exploration at Airbus said: “As the world’s climate continues to change at a faster and faster rate, scientists need ever more sophisticated space assets to enable better analysis. EarthCARE will help fill in the gaps by providing unprecedented measurements so that meteorologists and climatologists can better understand how energy is transmitted within the atmosphere.”

A joint undertaking between ESA and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), EarthCARE will examine the role clouds and aerosols play in reflecting solar radiation back into space and also in trapping infrared radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface.

06 March, 2024

Icelandair selects Viasat for inflight connectivity on new Airbus fleet

Viasat to provide fast, streaming Wi-Fi to further enhance passenger experience onboard the new Icelandair Airbus fleet.
The Icelandic carrier Icelandair has chosen Viasat, a global leader in satellite communications, to provide inflight Wi-Fi systems for the airline's new fleet of Airbus A321XLR and A321LR aircraft. 

Icelandair is expecting to put the new jets on services between Iceland and major cities in Europe, as well as on transatlantic flights, to various destinations in the U.S. The Airbus aircraft are scheduled to start being delivered to the carrier in the last quarter of this year.

Viasat's satellite connectivity service will be configured to provide a high-quality, fast online experience on all routes Icelandair serves, including streaming entertainment, and real-time productivity tools, keeping passengers and crew connected throughout the flight.

While providing fast in-flight connectivity across popular flight corridors and busy airport hubs, Icelandair will benefit from Viasat's focus on serving the aviation market – which it does through a combination of high throughput satellite capacity and the ability to flex that capacity, to meet demand where it peaks and is most concentrated. Thanks to this, together Viasat and Icelandair can provide a consistently high quality, high-speed, and content-rich in-flight Wi-Fi experience, even during times of intense demand.


Viasat's satellite connectivity service will be configured to provide a high-quality, fast online experience on all routes Icelandair serves,
"For several years now, we have enjoyed a great partnership with Icelandair while servicing its complete Boeing 737 MAX fleet," said Don Buchman, VP and GM, Commercial Aviation at Viasat. "We understand the patterns of Icelandair's operation and passenger demand for in-flight Wi-Fi, and we are excited to extend this experience and trust to include fast and resilient connectivity on the new Airbus aircraft."

"By expanding our high-speed streaming Wi-Fi offering to the new aircraft, we are doubling down on the state-of-the-art connectivity that has become a highly sought-after element of the Icelandair passenger experience," said Helga Huld Bjarnadóttir, Director of Product and Service Management, Icelandair. "Viasat has proven to be an innovative and trusted partner for how we approach the future of Wi-Fi at Icelandair, and we look forward to continuing this into the future."

Earlier this month, Icelandair confirmed it had selected Pratt & Whitney GTF engines to power the 35 new Airbus A320neo family aircraft, comprising a mix of leased and purchased A321XLR and A321LR aircraft.  The carrier also selected an EngineWise agreement for the long-term maintenance, repair and overhaul of its GTF engines. Pratt & Whitney will provide support to facilitate smooth entry into service and efficient long-term operation of the engines.



Your travel planning isn’t complete without learning the language—or at least some essential phrases. Fully immerse yourself in the language, or use Phrasebook to learn travel essentials—the choice is yours!

1200 MHz radar bandwidth in-orbit technology demonstrator enhances ICEYE’s expansive SAR satellite constellation

ICEYE strengthens its persistent Earth Observation capabilities with the successful launch of three new satellites.
                  ICEYE, the global leader in persistent monitoring and natural catastrophe solutions, successfully launched three additional synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites on March 4, 2024, including a 1200 MHz radar bandwidth in-orbit technology demonstrator that will enable 25 cm imaging. The satellites were integrated via launch integrator Exolaunch and successfully lifted off aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-10 rideshare from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA. Each spacecraft has established communication, and early routine operations are underway. 

ICEYE strengthens its persistent Earth Observation capabilities with the successful launch of three new satellites.



Two of the three SAR satellites launched on the mission are manufactured by ICEYE US, while one is an in-orbit technology demonstrator manufactured by ICEYE in Finland. The in-orbit demonstrator model features an upgrade to ICEYE’s unique X-band antenna, increasing radar bandwidth to 1200 MHz. This enables higher-resolution imagery, up to 25 cm, and will be initially assigned to engineering tests before being made available to ICEYE customers. 

“Our growing constellation provides an objective and reliable source of intelligence, enabling a faster, more accurate response to changes taking place anywhere on the planet,” Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder of ICEYE. “The launch of the 1200 MHz bandwidth technology demonstrator delivers 25 cm resolution SAR imaging, unlocking a new level of clarity and detail for high-priority decision-making.” 

The satellites launched include an advanced radar that enables major improvements in image quality, faster downlink speeds for more agile imagery collections, and better integration with ICEYE’s global network of ground stations. 

Eric Jensen, CEO of ICEYE US, said: “Our partners require dependable and persistent change detection to address emergent, time-critical needs. We are proud to add two additional U.S-built satellites to our constellation, strengthening our commitment to deliver strategic insights for our defense, intelligence, civil, and commercial customers.” 

ICEYE has now successfully deployed 34 spacecraft since 2018 and operates the world’s largest constellation of SAR satellites, which can image any location on the Earth’s surface in any environmental condition, day or night. SAR data provides precise insights for ICEYE’s government and commercial customers in near real-time.

 






Your travel planning isn’t complete without learning the language—or at least some essential phrases. Fully immerse yourself in the language, or use Phrasebook to learn travel essentials—the choice is yours!

15 February, 2024

Contracts awarded for novel software that will control future UK MOD satellites

The contracts will develop innovative software to provide a robust, secure and automated satellite control system for future UK MOD satellites.

The awards, as part of Project Beroe, will underpin government control of future satellite constellations, further enhancing the UK’s multi-domain integration efforts.

Worth a total of £4 million, the contracts were placed with Rhea in Bath and Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems UK in Oxfordshire. They will aid the agile development of software for satellite system management, designed to capture and process onboard system data to control and monitor the performance of the satellite.

Commodore David Moody, Head of Capability at Space Command, said:

"This is a pivotal moment for UK Defence and the UK Space Sector as we develop software and partnerships that will determine the future of how we manage our activities in space.

This project will enable us to define and understand how we will control and optimise the use of our satellites in a safe and sustainable way, and is an important part of UK MOD’s future satellite aspirations.

These contracts also support the wider goals of enabling growth in the Space Sector to develop resilient space capabilities and services."

The contracts were placed by the Space Delivery Team at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm of the UK MOD, and support the UK’s National Space Strategy, reinforcing innovation within the Space Sector.

DE&S project manager Melanie MacDonald, said:

"We are developing critical software that will provide the UK government with direct control of a range of future satellites. As well as supporting wider government access to diverse satellite data, this capability will support UK Armed Forces operations and provide them with the edge they need to protect the nation."

05 December, 2023

Airbus awarded next stage of ESA’s TRUTHS mission for metrological traceability of Earth observation data

TRUTHS will provide a benchmark of Earth’s energy balance by consistent calibration traced to a metrological reference

Consistent calibration will also enhance existing satellite missions



Airbus has been awarded the latest phase in the European Space Agency (ESA) TRUTHS mission as part of ESA’s Earth Observation Earth Watch programme. The contract covers detailed definition of the mission and payload, and focuses on payload development and de-risking activities with an option for the procurement of long lead time hardware ahead of the full implementation phase following the 2025 ESA Ministerial budget meeting. The contract is worth €109.3 million including options and was signed at COP28 in Dubai.

The TRUTHS satellite mission will measure the Sun’s radiation and the sunlight reflected off Earth's surface relative to an accurate reference, which will then be used to improve the climatological data sets and calibrate the observations of other satellites. This space-based climate and calibration observing system will enable data from other satellites to be compared more easily providing greater standards of data harmonisation for even more accurate climate change forecasts.

Jean Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus said: “This contract takes us one step closer to building a mission that will enable scientists and climatologists to cross reference their measurements and data enabling much more accurate forecasts and analysis in a shorter time. TRUTHS will provide the gold standard of calibration for space-based Earth observation – a kind of ‘standards laboratory in space’.”
 
UK Science, Research and Innovation Minister, Andrew Griffith, said: “This UK-led mission will have a global impact, providing invaluable measurements to improve our understanding of climate change. Overseen by Airbus UK, this work is generating growth and developing important industrial capabilities across our space sector, driving forward our ambitions to make the UK a science and technology superpower.” 

ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Simonetta Cheli, said: “We are glad to award the contract to Airbus in the UK to take their work on developing TRUTHS into the next all-important phase. We see here at COP28 that the world is committed to climate action and having reliable data on which to base decisions is of the utmost importance. TRUTHS will be used as a benchmark so that data from other satellites can be compared more easily, thereby improving reliability.”

04 December, 2023

Airbus starts Galileo Second Generation satellite production

Manufacturing of six state-of-the-art GNSS satellites to augment the current Galileo constellation


Full production has begun on the six Galileo Second Generation (G2) satellites at Airbus’ site in Friedrichshafen, Germany, with the arrival of the first satellite Flight Model structure from Beyond Gravity in Zurich. After initial preparation the panels will be dispatched to other Airbus sites before final integration and testing at Friedrichshafen. The Galileo G2 satellites are scheduled for launch in the coming years to support the initial deployment and validation of the G2 System.

Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, said: “After the successful design phase we are now kicking off production in earnest of the state-of-the-art Galileo G2 satellites. Our teams in Friedrichshafen are working with engineers across Europe to meet the challenging schedule and finalise these sophisticated satellites which will further improve the global Galileo system opening up even more opportunities for services on Earth.”

To meet the demanding schedule to deliver all six satellites in less than two years, Airbus has developed a coordinated production programme to leverage the spacecraft manufacturing, integration, and testing expertise across Airbus sites including Backnang (near Stuttgart), Friedrichshafen, Madrid, Ottobrunn (near Munich) and Toulouse. The second satellite structure is due to arrive in early 2024 and the third towards the end of next year. Airbus’ modular approach to the manufacturing of the G2 satellites will see three spacecraft being produced in parallel at any one time.

The G2 satellites will incorporate enhanced navigation antennas which will help improve accuracy of the flagship European Global Navigation Satellite System. The spacecraft, equipped with electric propulsion for the first time and higher-strength navigation antennas, will also feature fully digital payloads which will be easily reconfigured in orbit, enabling them to actively respond to the evolving needs of users with novel signals and services.
 

07 July, 2023

SYRACUSE 4B secure military communications satellite successfully launched




Satellite to serve France’s sovereignty needs by connecting its armed forces deployed on operations



The SYRACUSE 4B communications satellite, built by Airbus and Thales Alenia Space, has been successfully launched from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. It was the last launch of Ariane 5, the European heavy launcher.

SYRACUSE 4B, along with SYRACUSE 4A already in orbit, constitutes the space segment of SYRACUSE IV, the fourth generation secure military satellite communications system for the French Armament General Directorate (DGA - Direction Générale de l’Armement), the French Air and Space force and the French Space Command, built by the industrial consortium formed by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space.

SYRACUSE 4A and 4B will deliver increased capacity and enhanced functionality for the French Armed Forces, including higher throughput and flexibility, along with a broader coverage area. The increased flexibility will ensure the satellites can meet the needs of forces deployed anywhere in the coverage area, while also efficiently managing its X-band and Ka-band resources.

“Observation, signal intelligence, space situational awareness, and of course secure communications across key theatres of operation, are paramount for a nation’s autonomy and freedom of action. Airbus is proud to be a trusted partner of the French Armed Forces: thanks to SYRACUSE 4B, and other programmes, we support our national ambitions and capabilities in all these fields, today and in the decades to come!” said Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus. 

Search