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Spacecraft, Launch Vehicles & Satellites
 
VEGA LAUNCH VEHICLE PRODUCTION TO REMAIN STEADY GOING FORWARD
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Click image for a larger picture

A Vega launch vehicle ready for liftoff

Source: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2013


A Vega launch vehicle ready for liftoff

Source: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2013


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NEWTOWN, Conn. - The light launch vehicle market is becoming increasingly competitive. The Vega faces competition from other launch vehicles like India's PSLV and Japan's Epsilon. The market is expected to become increasingly crowded going forward as startups like Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab, Vulcan Space Systems, and Firefly Aerospace all seek to design and build new lightweight launch vehicles.

Even so, the Vega is in a healthy position in the lightweight launch market. The vehicle will benefit from a strong domestic market due to its association with the European Space Agency. ESA is dedicated to using European-built equipment and continues to launch lightweight scientific satellites, ensuring steady demand for the Vega. In fact, in April 2017, the European Commission committed to buying two Vega-C's per year once the launch vehicle becomes operational in 2019.

In addition, engineers are gradually increasing Vega's capabilities. The P120 rocket motor that will equip the Vega-C will boost power over the current version, enabling the Vega to carry heavier payloads or more payloads than competitors like Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne. In addition, the P120 will be shared with the Ariane 6, increasing economies of scale and reducing costs to build each engine.

For these reasons, Forecast International expects three to four Vega launch vehicles to be built per year. Based on comments from company officials, that will enable the program to continue to maintain a profit and sustain the program going forward.

Source:  Forecast International
Associated URL: www.forecastinternational.com
Source Date: November 16, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 11/16/2017

 
 
OFCOM FORMALLY APPROVES SAS GLOBAL 3 DIAMONDS
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Click image for a larger picture

SAS Global's 3 Diamonds spacecraft

Source: Sky and Space Global


SAS Global's 3 Diamonds spacecraft

Source: Sky and Space Global


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PERTH, Australia - Sky and Space Global Ltd (SAS Global) has received formal approval from the United Kingdom communications regulator, Ofcom, confirming the "bringing into use" (BIU) classification of it 3 Diamonds nanosatellites.

BIU is a regulatory classification step that confirms the existence of an actual satellite in space by proving the capability of transmitting or receiving signals from a space station, deployed and maintained at a specific orbit for a continuous period of 90 days. Receiving the designation is an important technical milestone in the development of a satellite network.

This process is part of the Satellite Filing procedures required by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and local regulators such as Ofcom, for specific frequency registration. The SAS ITU filings for the frequencies related to the SSG-CSL and SSG-3D satellite systems used for the launch of the 3 Diamonds have been validated by the regulators. This is a major step for SAS as this provides regulatory confirmation of its ability to deliver services using the 3 Diamonds.

Ultimately, SAS Global intends to operate a network of 200 satellites in an equatorial low Earth orbit to provide voice, data and instant messaging. Each satellite will have a launch mass of 10 kilograms and will feature 3-meter sun-tracking solar panels that provide about 150 Watts of power. SAS Global's first three satellites were delivered to orbit in June 23, 2017 and achieved 90 days of continuous use on September 23, 2017.

Source:  Investi
Associated URL: http://www.investi.com.au/api/announcements/sas/1b10643f-3f8.pdf
Source Date: November 16, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 11/16/2017

 
 
SSTL TO BUILD URTHECAST'S URTHEDAILY CONSTELLATION
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Click image for a larger picture

Artit's rendition of UrtheCast satellites

Source: UrtheCast Corp


Artit's rendition of UrtheCast satellites

Source: UrtheCast Corp


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GUILDFORD, U.K. - Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) has signed a contract with UrtheCast to build its UrtheDaily constellation of small satellites. The UrtheDaily constellation is planned to launch in 2020 and will provide multispectral, high-resolution imagery targeted to geoanalytics applications.

SSTL will base the satellites on its SSTL-250 platform. The satellites, built at SSLT's Guildford, U.K. facility, will deliver high-resolution imagery using spectral bands, which have been specifically selected to match Landsat-8, Sentinel-2, RapidEye and Deimos-1 bands to ease cross-calibration with trusted references and to minimize the effects of atmospheric variations.

The SSTL-250 is a small satellite platform based on the SSTL-300. Variants of the SSTL-300 can support payloads between 15 kilograms and 200 kilograms. They generate up to 180 watts of payload power and have a five to seven year lifespan. SSTL has been involved in missions that include Beijing-1, platforms for the 5 satellite RapidEye constellation, Deimos-1, exactView-1, KazEOSAT-2, and the 3-satellite TripleSat constellation.

UrtheCast plans to eventually operate a network of eight optical imaging satellites and eight synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites. UrtheCast is part of a trend toward building and launching networks of small satellites. The field has become crowded in recent years as more companies attempt to build massive networks of relatively small remote sensing satellites. While competition is fierce, UrtheCast has a number of advantages. It is unique in offering a constellation that provides both optical and radar imagery data. It has also been successful in signing agreements with government agencies in the U.S. and Canada, and possibly elsewhere.

Source:  SSTL
Associated URL: http://www.sstl.co.uk/Press/SSTL-to-build-UrtheCast-s-UrtheDaily-TM-Constella
Source Date: November 16, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 11/16/2017

 

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