Agile manufacturing in the NewSpace sector – with NanoAvionics

Podcasts

Episode 9 of the Space Industry podcast is a discussion with NanoAvionics about the engineering and production challenges that space companies face when scaling up supply.

In this episode we speak with Vytenis Buzas, CEO and Co-Founder of NanoAvionics about agile manufacturing of space technologies.

NanoAvionics is a nanosatellite mission integrator, with facilities in North America and Europe, that delivers satellite buses and propulsion systems for the satellite applications market, and is also a satsearch member. We discuss:

  • How to develop a one-off product into a modular system while maintaining performance
  • Achieving the best balance of automated production processes and human engineering
  • How to plan for the scaling up of hardware development before it is required
  • Working with other aspects of the space domain (including ground, launch, and testing) in an agile manner
  • What can be learned from other industry sectors to help accelerate development in space

About NanoAvionics’ products and services

A half-duplex radio with an efficient transceiver controlled by a dedicated ARM Cortex-M4 MCU. The radio uses the UHF band and is programmable in the 395 to 440 MHz range. It supports GFSK2 or GFSK4 modulation and 2,400 to 38,400 bit rates.

A UHF radio that utilizes a half-duplex architecture and features a transceiver controlled by a dedicated ARM Cortex-M4 MCU. The system features a configurable clock speed of 16-72 MHz and can include up to 48 KB of built-in SRAM.

Flight-proven Star Tracker ST-1 is featured with the SoC system circuit and optimized design of star catalogue and star map recognition processing algorithm.

A 1U satellite bus suitable for Demonstration, Training, Store and forward, Transponder, AIS, or other commercial and emergency communication applications, and scientific missions. The hardware layout is designed to allow for maximization of available volume for the payload.

A 2U satellite bus suitable for IoT, M2M, ADS-B, AIS, and other commercial and emergency communication applications, as well as scientific missions. The hardware layout is designed to allow for maximization of available volume for the payload.

A 3U satellite bus suitable for IoT, M2M, ADS-B, AIS, and other commercial and emergency communication applications, as well as scientific missions. The hardware layout is designed to allow for maximization of available volume for the payload.

A 6U satellite bus suitable for IoT, M2M, ADS-B, AIS, and other commercial and emergency communication applications, as well as scientific missions. The M6P hardware layout is designed to allow for maximization of available volume for the payload.

A 12U satellite bus suitable for IoT, M2M, ADS-B, AIS, and other commercial and emergency communication applications, as well as scientific missions. The M12P hardware layout is designed to allow for maximization of available volume for the payload.

A 16U satellite bus suitable for IoT, M2M, ADS-B, AIS, and other commercial and emergency communication applications, as well as scientific missions. The M16P hardware layout is designed to allow for maximization of available volume for the payload.

A pre-qualified and pre-integrated bus with a payload volume of 48 cm x 48 cm x 32cm (height is adjustable). Critical systems, such as the Flight Computer, Payload Controller, and Electric Power System (EPS) are 20 krad radiation-tolerant, and have an expected lifetime of 5 years in LEO.

A 31g magnetorquer with a length of 83.9 mm and radius of 5.5 mm. Suitable for use in 1U, 2U, 3U and 6U CubeSats, the system has typical power consumption of 0.86 W for providing de-tumbling and magnetic attitude control.

NanoAvionics' Magnetorquers MTQ3X are a set of two (X and Y-axis) magnetorquer rods and one air core Z-axis magnetorquer coil which are mounted on a PC/104 form factor PCB to enable nanosatellite attitude control.

The NanoAvionics UHF Antenna System consists of RF splitter and 4 monopole antennas, and fits a form factor of 1U by 2U. It has an operating frequency of 400 to 500 MHz and an RF power rating of 10 W. The system is designed to provide an almost omnidirectional radiation pattern with no blind spots.

The NanoAvionics UHF Antenna System consists of RF splitter and 4 monopole antennas, and fits a form factor of 1U by 1U. It has an operating frequency of 350 to 500 MHz and an RF power rating of 10 W. The system is designed to provide an almost omnidirectional radiation pattern with no blind spots.

The NanoAvionics UHF Antenna System consists of RF splitter and 4 monopole antennas, and fits a form factor of 2U by 2U. It has an operating frequency of 400 to 455 MHz and an RF power rating of 10 W. The system is designed to provide an almost omnidirectional radiation pattern with no blind spots.

A generic, modular nanosatellite structure compliant with the CubeSat Design Specification. Avionics or payload modules are built up as single 1-unit form factor building blocks that are mounted onto the primary load carrying elements.

The EPS Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) power conditioning and distribution unit is designed to meet a variety of customer requirements. It features up to 96% MPPT and output converter efficiency, 4 MPPT converters with 8 solar panel input channels, and an input voltage range of 2.6–18 V.

Made from triple junction space grade solar cells and designed for missions with high power requirements. The solar cells reach up to 29.5% efficiency and contain by-pass diodes to protect in-series, connected solar cell strings from shadowing effects or individual cell failure.

The solar cells reach up to 29.5% efficiency and contain by-pass diodes to protect in-series, connected solar cell strings from shadowing effects or individual cell failure. Made from triple junction space grade solar cells and are suitable for missions with high power requirements.

A sub-system for interfacing between payloads and the CubeSat bus. Featuring a Cortex M7 core with a configurable clock speed up to 400 MHz (200 MHz typical) and multiple interfaces including 100BASE-TX Ethernet port, CAN, RS422 (can be interchanged with 2 x RS485), buffered SPI, USART/UART and I2C.

A sub-system for interfacing between payloads and the NanoAvionics M6P CubeSat bus. Featuring a Cortex M7 core with a configurable clock speed up to 400 MHz (200 MHz typical) and multiple interfaces including CAN, RS422, buffered SPI, USART/UART and I2C.

NanoAvionics provides reaction/momentum wheels as separate components (RW0) or as an integral four-reaction wheel redundant 3-axis control system (4RW0) for precision pointing of small satellites. The reaction wheels have an angular speed of 6,500 rpm and angular momentum storage of 20 mN m s.

An integrated small satellite bus unit containing an OBC, ADCS, and redundant UHF communication system (COMM). The architecture is based on an STM32 H7 series microcontroller with high-performance and low power ARM Cortex M7 32-bit core MCU, operating at a frequency of up to 400 MHz.

A small satellite FM repeater provided pre-programmed and configured to customer requirements. The repeater can be activated/de-activated simply by switching on/off the power supply, and is designed to start or stops operations immediately when power supply is cut off.

A rigid chassis construction for 6U satellites. The framework is made from high-grade aluminum 7075-T7351, to enhance rigidity, lightweight, and durability. PC/104 stacks can be mounted inside the framework structure using mounting rings.

An ADN-based monopropellant thruster which has up to 6% higher specific impulse and 24% higher energy density compared to hydrazine systems. The TRL9 system can provide 1N BOL to 0.22N EOL per thruster, with a specific impulse of 213s and total impulse of 400 N s.

An ADN-based monopropellant thruster which has up to 6% higher specific impulse and 24% higher energy density compared to hydrazine systems. The TRL9 system can provide 1N BOL to 0.22N EOL per thruster, with a specific impulse of 214s and total impulse of 1,700 N s.

The GPS Patch Antenna 'piPATCH-L1' is designed by NanoAvionics' partner SkyFox Labs and fits all known CubeSat Structures (ideal for Z+ mount). It is compliant with CubeSat Design Specification r.13 and has an Ultra Low Noise Preamplifier included (Active Antenna).

Designed by NanoAvionics’ partner IQ-Wireless, for pico- and nanosatellite applications that require high data-rate satellite-to-ground communication. The circular polarization antenna aims to provide a robust solution for steering accuracy to the ground station, and in case of random rotation of the satellite.

Hosted payload flight service

NanoAvionics also offers a hosted payload flight service. The rideshare mission includes all services associated with bus launch and operations, including:

  • Payload integration,
  • Performance testing,
  • Spacecraft registration,
  • Commissioning of the spacecraft, and
  • Secure data delivery.

Click here to find out more about this service.

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