Smallsat 2016: Updates on European Programs

clyde_spaceThere were updates given during the past week at the Small Satellite Conference and the CubeSat Workshop on European activities. Clyde Space provided an overview of the planned Outernet constellation. Nammo Raufoss provided an update on its nanosat launcher. European Space Agency (ESA)  officials also discussed the agency’s smallsat activities.

Below are summaries of those presentations from Tweets by Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust), David Hurst (‏@OrbitalDave) and RITSpaceExploration (‏@RITSPEX).

Enjoy!

Outernet
Robin Sampson, Clyde Space

  • Outernet is a constellation of CubeSat broadcast that delivers content normally found online over free-to-receive satellite signals
  • Complete Outernet constellation could include up to 100 satellites
  • Satellites will broadcast in UHF to the United Kingdom
  • First Outernet CubeSats to launch later this year aboard Rocket Labs Electron booster

Nammo Raufoss AS
Onno Verberne

  • Norwegian company developing Nucleus nano-sat launcher with hybrid motors
  • Hybrid motor is safe and environmentally friendly
  • First test using a sounding rocket scheduled for 2017
  • Andoya Space Center works well for high inclination launches
  • A ground station is located on Svalbard
  • Norway has an interest in satellites to monitor ships, fishing, offshore oil rigs and other activities
  • Nammo is primarily a defense company with experience in designing and manufacturing rocket engines

ESA CubeSat Activities
Franco Ongaro, ESA

  • CubeSats are very capable, but they are most expensive spacecraft on a per-kg basis
  • Large number of planned CubeSats also pose challenges relating to space debris
  • ESA is working on a mission that would remove debris from space
  • Mission approval could come during 2019 ESA ministerial meeting
  • Ongaro admits ESA needs to change its approach and not impose on smallsats the same standards developed for large spacecraft

Smallsat Launches on Vega Rocket
Fabio Caramelli, ESA

  • “Bus service to space” by manifesting 15 or more smallsats on Vega launchers

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