Thursday, June 11, 2009

MicroSpace News: Boeing's CubeSat

CubeSats, those handy little 1kg gadgets, keep getting more sophisticated and capable. This Boeing press release notes the company's CubeSat TestBed 1 has been sending back data for more than two years now.

From the press release:

"The breakthroughs we've made with CSTB1 are enabling us to advance the development of NanoSat capabilities," said Scott MacGillivray, program manager for Boeing Nano-Satellite Programs and CSTB1. "We've downloaded more than 1 million data points to date, including dozens of photographs by CSTB1's small camera with a lens the size of a pencil's eraser head, and we continue to receive data on the extended-life characteristics of key components."

"Our success in demonstrating this new capability shows how NanoSats can perform valuable tasks to support Operationally Responsive Space needs," said Alex Lopez, vice president, Boeing Advanced Network and Space Systems. "As interest in NanoSats continues to grow, our accomplishments position us well to offer customers an affordable, viable option for specific satellite missions."
Boeing's next CubeSat demonstration mission, CSTB3, will be the first of a family of spacecraft designs representative of Boeing's new Tensor small-spacecraft avionics architecture, which will be the core of a wide array of missions.

CSTB3 is larger (approximately 4 kg and 10x10x30 cm) than CSTB1 and will demonstrate larger spacecraft capabilities such as higher communications bandwidth, three-axis control, onboard autonomy, and advanced dynamic power management. CSTB3 is expected to be flight-ready this summer.

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