Signed today by company officials at the SmallSat Conference in Logan, Utah, the agreement calls for the Astrocast nanosatellites to be launched onboard an Arianspace VEGA or Vega C vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana between late 2019 and early 2020. VEGA C, the last generation of launcher is a European vehicle realized by AVIO SpA in the Colleferro Headquarters, in Italy.
“Astrocast is pleased to partner with D-Orbit in securing an established, proven launch vehicle for our fourth deployment of satellites,” said Fabien Jordan, founder and CEO of Astrocast. “This mission will mark an important milestone for Astrocast, as our second revenue-generating launch.”
“It is a privilege for D-Orbit to have been selected by Astrocast for such an important mission,” said Renato Panesi, CCO of D-Orbit. “Our InOrbit NOW launch services are ideal for the small satellite market because they provide high performance, guaranteed deployment, and an affordable cost.”
The ten Astrocast nanosatellites represent one orbital plane of their 80-satellite network. The constellation will consist of 8 orbital planes, each consisting of 8 operational and 2 spare satellites. This 64-unit network of Low Earth Orbit spacecraft that will provide cost-effective Internet-of-Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine services for the 90% of the globe not covered by cellular systems. Astrocast’s constellation is expected to disrupt numerous enterprises, creating substantial efficiencies and cost advantages within key global sectors including maritime, oil and gas, mining, supply chain and logistics, automotive, utilities, and many others.
Following the scheduled Astrocast demonstration satellite launches in 2018, the InOrbit NOW mission will mark the fourth deployment of Astrocast’s spacecraft in orbit.
During the planned Astrocast mission, the ten nanosatellites will travel inside the DPOD dispensers, designed by D-Orbit to reduce vibrations and shock levels during launch. The target orbit for the Astrocast mission spacecraft is 450-600km, in Sun Synchronous Orbit.
Astrocast SA, in partnership with the European Space Agency, Airbus, and Thuraya, is developing an advanced nanosatellite network for the Internet of things (IoT). Airbus and Astrocast have developed a low-cost ASIC and module that provides the most power efficient satellite modem for IoT applications. The constellation will consist of 64 CubeSat satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and will provide low latency global coverage. Astrocast was founded in 2014 by the developers of SwissCube, one of the longest lasting, operational nanosatellites in space.
D-Orbit is a service provider for the traditional and new space sectors, with capabilities in satellite manufacturing, launch, deployment, satellite operations, end-of-life strategies and solutions, space propulsion and critical software. Its products and services cover the entire lifecycle of a space mission, including mission analysis and design, engineering, manufacturing, integration, testing, launch, and end-of-life decommissioning. Founded in 2011, D-Orbit employs about 40 people. The firm is based in Como, Italy, in Washington DC, United States, and Lisbon, Portugal.