The benefits of in-orbit agility for satellites


The vast majority of all satellites in space today have no in-orbit agility – and their operators and data end-users could be missing out on tremendous benefits.

Agility can be defined as the capability of a satellite to change its own orientation rapidly. It enables Earth Observation (EO) systems to collect and downlink a greater volume of imagery, hence generating more revenue.

In this live demo, Julien Tallineau, CEO, and Jan Smolders, Commercial Director, of VEOWARE SPACE explain how optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite operators are benefiting from in-orbit agility, with some actually doubling the revenue they can generate every single day!

VEOWARE SPACE is a UK and Belgium based manufacturer of satellite agility components and sub-systems including control moment gyroscopes (CMG), reaction wheels, and attitude control systems (ACS).

The company has ambitions to equip all new satellites with the right agility capabilities, so that operators can boost productivity and maximize revenue generation.

VEOWARE SPACE’s products

The VEOWARE SPACE MiniCMG - Control Moment Gyroscope is a control moment gyroscope (CMG) suitable for satellites above 250kg. A CMG is an attitude control unit (actuator) consisting of a spinning rotor (also referred as a fly wheel) and one or more motorized gimbals that tilt the rotor’s angular momentum. As the rotor tilts, the changing angular momentum causes a gyroscopic torque that rotates the spacecraft.

The VEOWARE SPACE MicroCMG is a control moment gyroscope (CMG) suitable for 50kg - 250kg satellites. CMGs are attitude control actuators that consist of a spinning rotor, which is also referred to as a flywheel, along with and one or more motorized gimbals. The gimbals tilt the rotor’s angular momentum causing a gyroscopic torque that rotates the spacecraft.

The VEOWARE SPACE RW50 is a reaction wheel developed in collaboration with Space Inventor specifically designed for 12U - 16U platforms. Reaction wheels produce the required torque for repositioning/reorientation using the principle of angular momentum conservation of the contained flywheel.

The VEOWARE SPACE RW500 is a reaction wheel developed in collaboration with Space Inventor. RW500 is specifically designed for 35kg - 50kg satellites and can also be used to boost roll agility for a 16U bus. Multiple RW500 can be put into an assembly to scale performance and meet different mission requirements. For example, 4x RW500 offers angular momentum storage (roll, pitch, yaw) of 1.25 N m s and a maximum torque of 0.18 N m.

attitude control
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