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ORB-3

OrbAstro has made available the world’s most capable 3U satellite platform, that is delivered on a lead-time and at a price-point that is simply unmatched.

£65,000

(+£90,000 for launch)

Included in this price: the satellite platform, engineering support with payload integration, flight-acceptance testing of the fully integrated satellite, and storage before shipment to the launch provider. Launch can be managed by OrbAstro and provided through a 3rd-party partner; price displayed is indicative of standard LEO/SSO orbit. Spectrum filing and launch license can be managed on a case-by-case basis.

Upon freezing of the satellite platform-payload configuration, nominal lead-time for production of the platform is 1 month.

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

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 85x80mm 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-40 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.
    • Additional customer-dedicated onboard computers can be provided for various applications.

    • The platform hosts an optical communications system for data relay through the Guardian Network satellites. Subscription packages vary, but 500MB/day uplink/downlink with up to 24 links per day is the baseline. Service available from mid-2024.
    • As a back-up, and until the Guardian Network satellites become operational, the platform contains an S-band transceiver and antenna with a 50Mb/s typical data rate at 1,000km for conventional ground link. All Guardian Network ground stations are capable of supporting S-band, X-band, and Ka-band links. Three associated ground stations will be operational over the course of 2022.
    • The S-band transceiver can be complimented with a Ka-band transmitter and antenna. The transmitter typically provides an additional 200Mb/s downlink at 1,000km range. All Guardian Network ground stations are capable of supporting S-band, X-band, and Ka-band. Three Guardian Network ground stations will available over the course of 2022.

    • 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 -20 0 C to +60 0 C with minimal impact on capacity and lifetime.
    • An optional upgrade to increase power capacity of the battery to 72Wh is available.

    • As a baseline, platform mounted solar panels are provided, generating 5.5W orbital average, of which 3.5Wh average is available for payload operations, depending on mission requirements.
    • Deployable solar panels can be provided to increase power available to the payload up to an orbital average of 22Wh. No payload volume is consumed with this addition.

Place a Deposit

To secure yourself in the production queue, and to freeze your platform price to the current rate, place your deposit now.

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

    hello@orbastro.com

    FAQ

    OrbAstro has built every subsystem on this platform from scratch and in unison. This provides significant mass, volume, power, and assembly process optimisation advantages not possible otherwise. And it compresses the supply chain significantly (i.e. fewer margins-upon-margins). 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 which as a baseline is massive overkill in most cases, from a performance requirements perspective. This allows us to addresses 95%+ of the nanosatellite market without significant modification.

    Rather than procuring independently developed subsystems, and attempting to bolt them together, OrbAstro has built everything as an integrated system from the ground up, allowing for huge savings in volume consumed.

    The company recently transitioned from R&D to commercialisation. All subsystems are flight-qualified and have flight heritage. The launch manifest for 2022 and 2023 for ORB-class platforms is very full, so significant heritage and flight data is being accumulated.

    Vibration testing. Sequence: LLS HLS, LLS, RV, LLS. Functional/health checks are carried out at every step. TVAC, EMC, and Shock testing can be provided as required, but as a baseline, this is not typically required for nanosatellites.

    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 £25,000 to repeat the satellite rebuild, 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 2022. You will be able to access your satellite through these ground stations through either S-/X-/Ka-band, before the Guardian Network provides you with persistent access. We will assist with associated spectrum filings.

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