HawkEye 360 completes environmental testing of updated satellites

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SAN FRANCISCO – HawkEye 360 completed environmental testing of three satellites the Herndon, Virginia, company plans to launch in December on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission.

“That was the last technical hurdle,” HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini told SpaceNews. After a little more testing, the satellites will be shipped to the launch pad, he added.

Herndon, Virginia-based HawkEye 360 pinpoints the source of radio frequency signals with a cluster of three satellites in orbit. With additional launches planned in 2021 and 2022, HawkEye 360 plans to create a constellation of seven three-satellite clusters, offering customers the ability to revisit radio frequency activity anywhere on Earth at 40-minute intervals, Serafini said.

The remaining clusters are fully financed and under development, thanks to equity and debt financing completed prior to the pandemic, Serafini said.

HawkEye 360’s satellites scheduled to launch in December are significantly larger than their predecessors, and equipped with updated processors and large solar arrays to boost onboard power.

The new satellites will collect data on multiple radio frequency signals simultaneous, which the first satellites were not able to do, Serafini said.

HawkEye 360 anticipates strong demand for its products.

“The U.S. government customer is particularly enthused,” Serafini said. “It’s not just one customer, there are seven or eight different U.S. government organizations that care deeply about RF data analytics. At the same time, we’re doing great with international customer engagements.”

Airbus’ investment in HawkEye 360’s Series B investment round “created amazing distribution opportunities for us,” Serafini said.

Since it was founded in 2015, HawkEye 360 has established the ground-based infrastructure to support its growing constellation and downlink data, process data, geolocate radio frequency sources and analyze data for customers, Serafini said.

“Our early adopters are in the midst of their testing and evaluation campaigns,” Serafini said. “As those campaigns are completed and we transition them to the larger contracts, we’ll have more capacity on orbit and we’ll start firing on all cylinders.”