ORB-3

OrbAstro is making available the world’s most capable 3U satellite platform, at a price-point that is simply unmatched.

£60,000

Included in this price: the platform, engineering support with payload integration, flight-acceptance testing of the fully integrated satellite, and storage before shipment to the launch provider.

This product-line has been made possible through contracts with:

Spec

Baseline Option

Upgrade Options

Mass

2kg

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OBC

Telos-10

Telos-40 , Telos-45

EPS

36Wh

72Wh

Comms

Optical transceiver (Guardian Network), S-band transceiver + antenna (50Mb/s)

Additional Ka-band transmitter + 16dB antenna (200Mb/s)

ADCS

0.1º pointing accuracy, 0.01º knowledge, dual star-trackers

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Electric Propulsion

Max thrust 116μN, delta-V typically 0.46km/s

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Solar Panels

Chassis mounted, 5.5Wh orbital average, 3.5Wh for payload

Deployable panels, 22Wh orbital average, 20Wh for payload

Lifetime

8-10 years

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Spec

Description

Volume

~2U maximum (196x95x95mm)

Mass

Up to 3kg (baselining a 5kg satellite maxi mass)

Power

Maximum power consumption 160W, 3.5Wh orbital average depending on mission requirements (upgradable to 20Wh)

Data Interfaces

I2C: 2x interfaces @10, 100, 400, 1000 kHz

SPI: 1x interfaces @1, 10, 40 MHz

USART: 2x interfaces, up to 1 Mb/s

CAN: 2x interfaces, up to 1 Mb/s

LVDS: 10 pairs, up to 1.2 Gbps per pair

PCIe 3.0, up to x4

USB 2.0

Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps

    1. You place a £1,000 deposit per satellite (fully refundable) to secure yourself in the production queue and at the “early adopter rate”.
    2. You hire a flat-sat to design/program your payload for compatibility with the platform.
    3. Once ready, you pull the trigger for platform build and pay the remaining fee.
    4. Once the platform is built (nominally 1 month later), you come on-site and integrate your payload with assistance from our engineers. This should not take more than 2 days because of your upfront work on the flat-sat.
    5. Whilst you are on-site, we put the fully integrated satellite through fight-acceptance testing. This should not take more than 2-3 days after your payload has been integrated.
    6. After passing flight-acceptance testing and further health-checks, the satellite is securely stored on-site in an appropriate environment until the launch provider is ready to receive it.
    7. You organise shipment of the satellite from OrbAstro to your designated launch provider.

£60,000 baseline

The price includes:

    • A fully assembled 3U satellite platform
    • Engineering support with payload integration, on-site with us
    • Full flight-acceptance testing and associated health-checks, on-site with us
    • Packaging for transportation
    • Storage of the satellite until the launch provider is ready to receive it

We are currently building a batch-production facility for this product-line. As such, 3U satellite platforms will only become commercially available from May-21 onwards. Nominal lead-time for production of platforms will be 1 month*. Between now and then, OrbAstro will be taking deposits that will secure customers in the production queue and will freeze their price point to the “early adopter rate”.

Deposits are £1,000 per satellite. Deposits are fully refundable.

The current price is what we are calling the “early adopter rate”. Though OrbAstro still makes a reasonable margin at the “early adopter rate” price, it will go up over the period of 2022 as the platform gains more heritage and becomes an established solution. The next nearest alternative to OrbAstro will not be able to provide a similar solution for anything less than £500,000 over the coming few years. And though OrbAstro is looking to lower the barrier for entry to enable the emergence of new space markets and the flourishing of existing markets, this vision must be balanced against the company financing other longer-term activities aligned with lowering it further.

*Depending on demand, it could take OrbAstro ~6 months to match supply/demand requirements to stabilise at a 1-month production lead-time. As such, if you are looking to launch in 2021-2022, place your deposit now.

Upgrade

Description

OBC

+£5,000 for Telos-40

+£20,000 for Telos-45

For exceptional data processing requirements, the onboard computer can be upgraded to an OrbAstro Telos-40 or Telos-45. This will not reduce payload volume capacity but will impact power available to the payload depending on computing requirements.

EPS

+£5,000 for 72Wh EPS

To increase power storage capacity of the platform from 36Wh to 72Wh, another 36Wh battery can be added. This will reduce payload volume capacity by 0.38U.

Power Generation

+£10,000 for Deployable Solar Panels

To increase power available to the payload from typically 3.5Wh orbital average to 20Wh (i.e. power generation from 5.5Wh to 22Wh), three 3U-scale deployable solar panels can be added to the platform. This will not impact payload volume capacity.

Communications

+£5,000 for Ka-band Transmitter & Antenna

To increase down-link capabilities, an OrbAstro Ka-band transmitter with a 16dB antenna can be added to the platform to compliment the S-band transceiver, typically achieving a 200Mb/s downlink at 1,000km range. This will reduce payload volume by 0.15U and will reduce power available to the payload depending on communications requirements.

Payload Access

No cost implication with choice.

CFRP panels mounted to the chassis around the payload can either be left in place (closed) or removed (open). Removing of some or all of these panels allows for surface access and customisation.

The first ORB-3 satellite platform with a commercial payload onboard is launching in Q2 2021 on a SpaceX Falcon 9. It will have all of the standard subsystems listed. Additionally, it will have deployable solar panels, both Telos-10 and Telos-40, and both S-band transceiver & Ka-band transmitter + antennas. OrbAstro currently has subsequent platforms booked for launch in late-2021 and mid-2022, both 6U variants (ORB-6). For the most part, subsystems on the 3U platforms are identical to those on the 6U platforms. The OrbAstro team has a long history of developing complex satellite subsystems, from concept to orbital operations.

Subsystems

The volumetric efficiency of the ORB family of satellite platforms has been enabled by the team compressing what is typically seven 1U-scale PCBs into a single 80x75mm board. This “satellite on a board” contains: the OBC, reaction wheel controls, magnetorquer controls, camera interfaces, star-tracker interfaces, all sensor interfaces, full SDR S-/X-band, GPS, optical data processing and control, and EPS.

    • The platform utilises an OrbAstro Telos-10 OBC.
    • The OBC is based on Xilinx Ultrascale+ MPSoCs with ARM cortex A53 and R5 64-bit processing cores, 2GB LPDDR4, 64GB eMMC, 250GFLOP double precision FPU, software and hardware based mitigation for SEU and SEL.
    • For exceptional data processing requirements, the onboard computer can be upgraded to an OrbAstro Telos-40 OBC for an additional £5,000 or Telos-45 for an additional £20,000. This gives two cores for payload operations on which customers can have their own software either Bare Metal or Linux. No further payload volume in consumed with this change, however power available for the payload will be reduced depending on how heavily this OBC is utilised.

    • The platform hosts an optical communications system for data relay through the Guardian Network. Subscription packages vary, but 500MB/day uplink/downlink with up to 24 links per day is the baseline. Service available from mid-2023.
    • As a back-up, and until the Guardian Network becomes operational, the platform contains an S-band transceiver and antenna with a 50Mb/s typical data rate at 1,000km. All Guardian Network ground stations are capable of supporting S-band, X-band, and Ka-band links. Three associated ground stations will be operational by late 2021.
    • The S-band transceiver can be complimented with a Ka-band transmitter and antenna for an additional £5,000. The transmitter typically provides an additional 200Mb/s downlink at 1,000km range. But power available to the payload is reduced depending on utilisation, and 0.15U payload volume is consumed. All Guardian Network ground stations are capable of supporting S-band, X-band, and Ka-band. Three associated ground stations will be operational by late 2021.
    • The ADCS is based on an array of reaction wheels, magnetorquers, dual star-tracker cameras, Earth and Sun cameras, magnetometers, gyroscopes, and GPS unit, with a relatively comprehensive level of redundancy built in.
    • It provides highly accurate pointing control authority (<0.1deg/s) and pointing knowledge (<0.01deg/s) in both Solar and Eclipse phases.
    • High precision dual star-tracker for redundancy.
    • Dual redundant 3-axis magnetorquers.
    • It provides extremely high torque authority (40mNm) and momentum storage capacity (38mNms), typically an order of magnitude higher than what is conventionally available for 3U satellites. This ability for agile steering/pointing enables the customer to increase the amount of useful data collected by their payload (i.e. by jumping between points of interest through the orbit rather than say maintaining a fixed NADIR-pointing angle). The overhead for this type of target-tracking operation is much compressed when coupled to the Guardian Network autonomous mission operations service.
    • An electric propulsion system is contained within the “tuna can” of the platform. It provides a maximum thrust of 116μN and a delta-V of 0.46km/s (baselining a 5kg spacecraft).
    • The unit enables accelerated deployment, accelerated RAAN drift, formation maintenance, station-keeping, collision avoidance, and active deorbit capabilities.
    • The design is highly robust and reliable with independent thruster heads, multiple neutralisers, redundancy built into the integrated electronics, no pressurised tanks, and no moving parts.
    • The platform will utilise a 36Wh variant of the OrbAstro EPS technology.
      Utilisation of conventional lithium-ion chemistries for batteries are one of the primary causes of early decommissioning of nanosatellites, due to cycle lifetime and vulnerability to the thermal environment.
    • OrbAstro uses an alternative cell chemistry far better suited to the LEO environment and satellite mission requirements.
    • The battery can operate at an 85% depth of discharge over a period of 30,000 cycles at 2C.
    • Maximum power consumption 160W.
    • The battery is extremely robust to the thermal environment, with an operating temperature range of -200C to +600C with minimal impact on capacity and lifetime.
    • An optional upgrade to increase power capacity of the battery to 72Wh is available for an additional £5,000, reducing payload volume available by 0.38U. This is achieved by adding an additional 36Wh battery.
    • As a baseline, platform mounted solar panels are provided on 3 long faces of the chassis, generating 5.5W orbital average, of which 3.5Wh average is available for payload operations, depending on mission requirements. 
    • An optional upgrade to increase power available to the payload from 3.5Wh orbital average to 20Wh is available for an additional £10,000. This is achieved with the addition of a deployable solar array (i.e. 3 additional long-faces worth of solar panels). No payload volume is consumed with this addition.

Place a Deposit

 

If you have any questions, send them in an email to:

hello@orbastro.com

FAQ

OrbAstro has built every subsystem on this platform from the ground up, thus the supply chain and associated margins-upon-margins are significantly compressed. A lean batch-production philosophy has also been adopted. We do not provide customers with a custom-built turn-key solution that involves months of negotiations over requirements and shopping around with suppliers. What we offer is a single platform that is overkill in most cases but addresses 95%+ of the nanosatellite market.

Rather than building subsystems as independent blocks that are then haphazardly bolted together, OrbAstro has built everything as an integrated system from the ground up, allowing for huge savings in volume consumed.

The first ORB-3 satellite platform with a commercial payload onboard is launching in June 2021 on a SpaceX Falcon 9. It will have all subsystems listed including deployable solar panels, both Telos-10 and Telos-40, the S-band, and the Ka-band transceivers and antennas. OrbAstro currently has subsequent 6U platforms (ORB-6) booked for launch in late-2021 and mid-2022. The OrbAstro team has a long history of developing complex satellite subsystems, from concept to orbital operations.

Sequence: LLS HLS, LLS, RV, LLS, TVAC, LLS with functional checks at every step.

If the failure is on the platform side, either the defunct subsystem or the entire platform will be swapped out for a back-up free of charge (along with payload integration, and another round of flight-acceptance testing). If the failure is on the payload side, you will either need to make a quick fix on-site or take your payload home and come back with a suitably modified system when ready. In either case you will be charged an additional £10,000 to repeat the payload integration and flight-acceptance activities.

Yes. If you do not, there is a high likelihood that there will be numerous bugs that will take weeks to resolve when it comes to payload integration to the actual satellite platform. It works out more cost-effective for both us and you, to do all of that on the flat-sat before you come on-site.

No. You will get those subsystems anyway. In exceptional circumstances, it will be possible to remove some components if it is critical for the operations of your payload (e.g. removal of solar cells for line-of-sight or deployable structures). This minimises non-recurring expenses for us associated with handling, assembly, testing, and paperwork. Also, most subsystems onboard are required for connectivity with the Guardian Network, which will be a mandatory part of the package when it comes online.

No. Only once the Guardian Network comes online in mid-2023. There will be a partially operational network available in 2022 that we will make available for beta-testing.

We have three Guardian Network ground stations coming online over the period of 2021. You will be able to access your satellite through these ground stations directly free-of-charge with either the S-band or Ka-band transceivers onboard, before the Guardian Network provides you with persistent indirect access. We will assist with associated spectrum filings.