A Portuguese technological company, established in 2014, working in the space and aerospace sector, is looking to establish a research cooperation agreement to develop and integrate sensors to be placed on board CubeSats. Currently it is preparing a proposal for SME Instrument Phase 2 for H2020 Framework Program engaging SMEs in Space Research and Development. The objective of the project is to collect different data during space missions, such as temperature, electron density, and magnetic field.
The upper stages of the atmosphere are also the most unknown ones to the scientific community. Data collection around this area is mostly based on remote sensing, the only methods for collecting in-situ data presents different barriers such as geographical limitation, and development costs and time.
The company specialises in smart commissioning and decommissioning systems, optimising spacecraft’s operations and value. Its system enables spacecraft to perform precise manoeuvres for decommissioning, mainly for re-entry to the atmosphere, allowing identifying the footprint on Earth.
This technology potentiates the usage of the satellite’s re-entry trajectory in order to select a time and location when it can be possible, through the integration of miniaturized sensors on board of the satellite, collect upper atmosphere in-situ data.
The company is currently searching for partners with expertise in the areas of the upper atmospheric layers, as well as partners that have previous expertise in the development of sensors that can be flown on board nanosatellites and collect data accurately.
EOI deadline: 18 November 2016 Call deadline: 18 January 2017 Expected duration of the project: 2 years
PARTNER EXPERTISE SOUGHT
Type of partner sought: As an expert in decommissioning services, the company is currently searching for partners with expertise in the areas of the upper atmospheric layers, as well as partners that have previous expertise in the development of sensors that can be flown on board nanosatellites and collect data accurately.
Specific area of activity of the partner: The company is looking for a research cooperation agreement. It is currently searching for partners with expertise in the areas of the upper atmospheric layers, as well as partners that have previous expertise in the development of sensors that can be flown on board nanosatellites and collect data accurately.
ADVANTAGES & INNOVATIONS
The Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere are the most poorly known stages of the Earth’s atmosphere. This system provides an innovative approach based on nanosatellite technology that promises to deliver in-situ real-time data on any geographical area of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere by taking advantage of predetermined and precise re-entry trajectories. The solution is scalable and easily upgradable to extend the sensors’ capabilities and thus enter in different “big data” market.
Based on the capability to follow a precise trajectory to re-enter the atmosphere from any low Earth orbit, this technology enables the collection of data in pre-determined places. Currently existing technologies are based on sounding rockets, which are expensive and limited in location of launch. Advantages of this solution are the elimination of geographical restrictions, shorter development times, and increased cost-efficiency.
This technology also allows for a greater flexibility in terms of the sensors that can be put on board, as Commercial Off-The Shelf components are increasingly available, allowing for increased modularity of the nanosatellite. Launch opportunities also increase as the result of using CubeSat technology, as launch slots are getting increasingly frequent and its cost is lowering considerably.
Proposal under development - The project has received funding to perform a feasibility study; in parallel the team is undergoing a technology demonstration mission where it will be possible to collect an initial set of data. This mission used Commercial Off-The Shelf sensors and its main objective is to validate collected data and test market acceptance. Further development of the project will include the sourcing and development of the most efficient sensors to be used on board nanosatellites in upcoming missions.