Boeing has joined the growing list of manufacturers offering smaller satellites for geostationary orbit, saying new digital payload technology can reduce the weight of its typical communications spacecraft by half.
Swissto12, a European telecommunications component company, raised 18.1 million Swiss francs ($18.44 million), established a U.S. offices and signed an agreement with Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems to offer miniature satellites for geostationary orbit.
Astranis CEO John Gedmark said in an Aug. 26 blog post that the company reserved a Falcon 9 launch in the fourth quarter of 2020 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Satellite broadband company Ovzon said Aug. 24 that a better offer from Arianespace for a 2021 launch aboard an Ariane 5 prompted it exit an agreement to launch its first fully owned satellite on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy.
Daffner said the satellite, called GapSat-1, will have a mass of approximately 250 kilograms — much smaller than the average geostationary satellite, which typically weighs three to seven tons.
When Swedish broadband service provider Ovzon began shopping around for a small communications satellite that would work in geostationary orbit, the designs that satellite manufacturers trotted out weren’t exactly “small.”
Astranis, a startup designing small geostationary satellites for internet connectivity, has signed an Alaskan telecommunications provider as its first customer.
Germany’s space agency, DLR, signed a delayed but long-expected contract with Bremen-based satellite manufacturer OHB Systems for an experimental telecommunications satellite that will be used in part by the Bundeswehr, Germany’s Federal Armed Forces.
European launch provider Arianespace completed its first launch of the year Jan. 27, orbiting the first SmallGEO satellite for Spanish satellite operator Hispasat.
Spacecraft builder OHB System AG says it is taking steps to rein in the production time for its SmallGEO line of satellites to around three years instead of the seven years or longer the first batches have taken.
Satellite and rocket-component builder OHB SE fell short of its revenue target for 2015 because of delays in two telecommunications satellites for which it is prime contractor, the company said March 17.