Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, today announced the successful launch of GNOMES-3, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 mission on April 1.

GNOMES-3 is an ESPA-class microsat spacecraft bus, which Blue Canyon manufactured for PlanetiQ. BCT provided the microsatellite bus and Gen3 avionics for the rideshare mission. The program uses an innovative way to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration refine weather models. When GPS signals travel through the atmosphere, they are refracted like light bent through a lens. Looking at the refracted GPS signals, PlanetiQ can determine the density and moisture content of the atmosphere to improve weather predictions.

“GNOMES-3 is an outstanding spacecraft we have built for PlanetiQ, continuing our strong relationship and demonstrating BCT’s ability to deliver spacecraft with exceptionally accurate pointing,” said Stephen Steg, CEO of Blue Canyon Technologies. “PlanetiQ’s use of a highly accurate spacecraft has enabled their high performing radio occultation instrument to make outstanding measurements.

BCT’s mission operations team made initial contact with the spacecraft just after launch and confirmed the spacecraft is healthy and operating nominally. Bus commissioning was rapid with 90% of functions completed within a day, and the payload powered on and operating nominally within 4 days of launch. GNOMES-3 joins GNOMES-2 on-orbit and is expected to achieve cutting edge radio occultation measurements. Spacecraft operations will be performed at BCT’s Mission Operations Center, which will be operating 15 spacecraft by the end of 2022. This launch is BCT’s 33rd spacecraft to successfully operate on-orbit.

About Blue Canyon Technologies

Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, offers a diverse portfolio of innovative, reliable and affordable spacecraft that enable a broad range of missions and technological advancements for the new space economy, reducing the barriers of space entry. BCT is currently supporting nearly 50 unique missions with over 90 spacecraft, all in production at their newly developed 80,000-square-foot facility in Lafayette, Colorado.

BCT has supported missions for the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats, which successfully traveled to Mars. The company has been recognized with awards from Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, the 2020 Best in Biz Award and the 2020 Tibbetts Award.

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About Raytheon Intelligence & Space

Raytheon Intelligence & Space delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, cyber services and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers in more than 30 countries around the world. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the business generated $15.2 billion in annual revenue in 2021 and has 34,500 employees worldwide. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies Corporation.


Media Contact: Natalie Miller, (714) 496-0839y