Tiny CubeSat Tracks Worldwide Air Traffic

Detections of aircraft in flight made by ESA CubeSat GomX-3 during the last six months, since it was released from the International Space Station on 5 October 2015. Built by GomSpace in Denmark, the tiny 3-unit CubeSat has picked up millions of ADS-B signals which give flight information such as speed, position and altitude. All aircraft entering European airspace are envisaged to provide such automatic surveillance in the coming years. (Credit: ESA/GomSpace)
Detections of aircraft in flight made by ESA CubeSat GomX-3 during the last six months, since it was released from the International Space Station on 5 October 2015. Built by GomSpace in Denmark, the tiny 3-unit CubeSat has picked up millions of ADS-B signals which give flight information such as speed, position and altitude. All aircraft entering European airspace are envisaged to provide such automatic surveillance in the coming years. (Credit: ESA/GomSpace)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Since its launch six months ago, a satellite small enough to fit in an airline passenger’s carry-on bag has been tracking aircraft in flight across the entire globe.

Built for ESA by GomSpace in Denmark, the GomX-3 CubeSat was ejected from the International Space Station on 5 October 2015, along with a Danish student satellite.

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ESA’s First Technology CubeSat Launched from Space Station

ESA’s GomX-3 CubeSat plus the smaller student-built AAUSat-5 after being deployed from the NanoRacks dispenser on Japan's Kibo module of the International Space Station on 5 October 2015. They entered space together but a spring system pushed them away from each other. By the end of the week they were orbiting upwards of 100 km apart. (Credit: ESA/NASA)
ESA’s GomX-3 CubeSat plus the smaller student-built AAUSat-5 after being deployed from the NanoRacks dispenser on Japan’s Kibo module of the International Space Station on 5 October 2015. They entered space together but a spring system pushed them away from each other. By the end of the week they were orbiting upwards of 100 km apart. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s first technology-testing CubeSat, released last week from the International Space Station, is in good health and is set to start work on its six-month mission.

“This tiny satellite was developed in only a year and now we are very pleased with the rapid progress made during the first few days in orbit to check its readiness for its mission,” notes Roger Walker, overseeing ESA’s technology CubeSat effort.

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