Extending CubeSat LEO platforms to GEO missions – with Space Inventor

Podcast

Episode 17 of the Space Industry podcast is a discussion with Space Inventor about the commercial and technical challenges of adapting Low Earth Orbit (LEO) technologies for Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) applications.

In this episode we speak with Jacob Nissen at Chief Sales Officer, at Space Inventor. Space Inventor is a Danish satellite engineering company, founded in 2002, that specializes in nano- and microsatellites. The company is also a participant in the satsearch membership program. In the podcast we discuss:

  • How the CubeSat industry has evolved to produce platforms with higher performance and reliability.
  • The current trends in the industry, with regard to satellite sizes, payload capabilities, and more.
  • The commercial and technology challenges of adapting LEO technology GEO applications.
  • How the GEO sector could evolve in the coming years.

The product portfolio of Space Inventor

A 3 to 8 cell Lithium-Ion battery system designed to offer a long life-time, simple integration, and safe operation. Featuring a total of 7 different configurations, and up to 75 Wh capacity, making it suitable for most nano- and small-satellite missions.

The Z7000-P3 is a system-on-a-chip (SoC), FPGA-based payload computer with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore, and FPGA logic with 125K programmable cells. It offers a broad range of interfaces including, LVDS/SpaceWire and up to 1Gb Ethernet, a mass memory system with a capacity of up to 64 GB.

A dual, hot-redundant satellite telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) radio. The TTC-P3 includes two half-duplex VHF/UHF transceivers and is intended to be used in antenna diversity schemes (where each channel is connected to orthogonal and cross-polarized antennas).

An integrated 3-phase outrunner BLDC with 8 rare-earth magnets in the rotor and 6 coils in the stator. The material for the body is Al-7075-T6, and the rotor is made of ferritic stainless steel while the magnets are Neodymium.

An integrated 3-phase outrunner BLDC with 10 rare-earth magnets in the rotor and 9 coils in the stator. The rotor is axially suspended between two hybrid ceramic high precision bearings chosen for long life and low friction in extreme conditions.

A compact, autonomous star tracker unit providing high accuracy determination based on advanced star-tracking algorithm for Micro and Nano-satellite missions with mission lifetime up to 5 years (minimum).

A small factor, 2-axis, stand-alone fine sun sensor with two different estimate modes; table-based (from ground calibration) or polynomial fit (on-orbit or ground calibration). The system provides an estimate of sen sun vector and includes a CAN interface.

A ground station for the TTC-2 satellite radio; a more powerful version of the TTC-2, with 200 Watt output power. It is designed to accommodate difficult uplink situations in noisy environment and has a built-in Linux computer and integrated software ready for operation of the transceivers.

A six channel maximum power point tracker and battery charger module, designed for durable, simple and robust satellite integration. The system consists of six variable frequency DC-DC converters that ensure optimal operating voltage for each solar cell array at all temperatures and irradiance levels.

An on-board computing platform consisting of two independent ARM Cortex-M7 modules, each with separate power supply, interfacing, and storage. The dual architecture makes the OBC-P3 a suitable choice for hot/cold redundancy solutions often desired for mission critical subsystems, such as T&C, GNC, or management of valuable payloads.

A twelve channel power conditioning and distribution unit in a rugged, compact and modular enclosure. The system features six independent and customizable step-down converters and one boost converter, that can be connected to output channels as required.

Solar panels designed on an aluminium back plate with a dual functionality as both solar panel back plate, structure and shielding. The cells are based on 2mm Al7075-T6 laminated with Kapton substrate and the PVP system can be customized to accommodate payload cut-out, external antennas, or sensors.

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