Torrance, CA (Millennium Space Systems PR) — Millennium Space Systems announced today the successful high-altitude balloon test of its new microsatellite bus, developed under the company’s DARPA SeeMe contract.
During a 1.5-hour flight to nearly 30 kilometers altitude over California’s Mojave Desert, Millennium engineers exercised key satellite subsystems and operational capabilities. The SeeMe prototype carried a telescope and new technology digital camera developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), which successfully captured images of the Earth during the mission, simulating the intended orbital capability.
Engineers using a mobile ground terminal directly commanded the payload and received the resulting images, emulating the SeeMe “point and shoot” military theater operations concept.
At roughly 45 kg (100 lbs.), SeeMe fits at the light end of Millennium’s product spectrum, accommodating imaging, communications, navigation, weather and science payloads.
“The SeeMe flight test was a key step in validating our micro-bus satellite platform – which at 27U, is a deliberately upsized cubesat to accommodate bigger, heavier and higher power payloads than smaller 3U and 6U cubesats,” said Mike Scardera, Millennium SeeMe Project Manager.
“The added bonus is the detailed images we retrieved clearly demonstrate Lawrence Livermore’s unique optics design is well suited for this size spacecraft, to provide high quality space remote sensing,” Scardera added. “The flight test also demonstrated our mobile command and control element’s ability to request and receive information packets directly from space, key to DARPA’s SeeMe goal to enable warfighters to request and receive tactical imagery directly from a low-earth orbit satellite constellation.”
Millennium‘s SeeMe platform opens the door for revolutionary affordability in space – with performance and payload accommodations beyond the reach of traditional cubesats. The company will sell the basic SeeMe bus for approximately $500,000, delivered just 90 days from receipt of order.
“These breakthroughs in price and delivery schedule will create new business models in space, enabling ultra-low-cost constellation missions,” said Laura White, Millennium’s Director of Business Operations.
About Millennium Space Systems
Millennium Space Systems is a privately held, employee-owned company founded in 2001. The company provides alternative and relevant solutions to today’s aerospace challenges. Currently, the company designs flight systems and develops project solutions for the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense and National Aeronautics & Space Administration. The Company is based in Southern California, with Space Manufacturing facilities in Torrance, and a Mission Operations Center in Manhattan Beach. For more information, visit http://www.millennium-space.com.