Kongsberg NanoAvionics (NanoAvionics), a leading smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator, has announced that three of its manufactured satellites flew successfully into low Earth aboard the SpaceX Transporter-9 mission. NanoAvionics’ mission operation center has established contact will all three satellites and is proceeding with the commissioning phase.
The mission included the 6U “NinjaSat” X-ray observatory, a collaboration between Japan’s largest research organization RIKEN, Mitsui Bussan Aerospace and NanoAvionics. During its two-year mission, NinjaSat will observe black holes and neutron stars that suddenly brighten up with X-ray photons. The data will be coordinated with that of on-ground optical observatories to study how matter accretes to these compact objects.
The second satellite that went up is “ProtoMéthée-1”, a 16U nanosatellite, based on NanoAvionics’ flight-proven bus M16P, for the French company Prométhée Earth Intelligence. The service demonstrator satellite has a 1.5m resolution camera and propulsion for orbital maneuvering and end-of-life deorbiting.
The possible applications resulting from Prométhée’s satellite data and digital platform range from forest fire detection to water management, food security, urban planning, desertification control, crisis management, critical infrastructure protection and national border security.
The nanosatellite is part of Prométhée’s plan for a constellation of Earth observation satellites with a high revisit rate, an image analysis platform and offering hyperreactivity through inter-constellation connectivity.
The third satellite released into orbit is an MP42 microsatellite weighing over 120kg, which will help an undisclosed customer of NanoAvionics to demonstrate its technologies in orbit.
Žilvinas Kvedaravičius, CEO of NanoAvionics, said: “SpaceX’s Transporter-9 mission marked the launch of our 16th satellite this year alone. Before the end of the year, NanoAvionics is planning to deliver several more satellites to its customers and launch providers.
“This launch is further proof that our products and services can satisfy the highest requirement markets like France and Japan. We aim to continue setting quality and performance standards in smallsat technology as expected by our customers such as Prométhée, RIKEN, Mitsui, and many others.”