Australia, Oman, Virgin Orbit. New and continued threads of SatRevolution collaboration

In the Australian field of study, the Wrocław company SatRevolution concluded an agreement with Neumann Space, directly related to the recently established initiative The Australian Space Manufacturing Network (ASMN). Under the agreement, SatRevolution will provide the CubeSat 6U satellite platform, with Neumann Space’s involvement in the construction of a nanosatellite propulsion matched to it. This cooperation is to enable the acquisition of capabilities that will be offered by the Polish company as a ready product for commercial applications.

According to the assumptions of the project, SatRevolution will also integrate the platform with the drive provided by Neumann Space. In the next step, the Polish side is to lead a space mission and assume the role of the operator of the created satellite. During the mission, the operation of the innovative Neumann Space drive is to be demonstrated. “Preparatory work for the project will start soon, and its implementation is planned for [trzeci kwartał] 2022 “- announce the representatives of SatRevolution.

ASMN, in turn, is an initiative of the Australian company Gilmour Space Technologies, which – with the support of Venture Capital funds, the Australian government and other founding members – plans to implement a project worth USD 150 million under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative – Collaboration (MMI-C) program .

In a separate project co-implemented with partners from Oman, SatRevolution is one of two Polish companies (the other is the Tuatara IT project studio) that have agreed on strategic cooperation in the implementation of the Middle East space program, in line with the assumptions of the national strategy for digitization and the development of science “Oman 2040 “. The result is to be an adapted nanosatellite in the CubeSat format.

Release of satellites created with the participation of SatRevolution – Światowid and KRAKsat nanosatellites. Photo NASA / NanoRacks

SatRevolution and Tuatara entered into a joint strategic cooperation agreement with ETCO, a technology consortium in Oman, at the Astronautical Congress in Dubai (IAC 2021) on Thursday, October 28 this year. The contract was signed at the stand of the Polish Space Agency in the presence of the President of POLSA Grzegorz Wrochna and Dr. Saoud Al Shoaili, Director of the National Space Program at the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Technology in Oman.

The cooperation involves, inter alia, providing solutions in the field of acquiring and analyzing satellite imagery. SatRevolution, in cooperation with ETCO, is to deliver:

  • CubeSat instrument: from the design of the device, to launching it into orbit, to handling for the ETCO; the offer includes the option of supplying the CubeSat instrument in the 3U format (RGB + NIR imaging capabilities) and 6U (8 spectral bands),
  • ground station: SatRevolution is to deliver a ground station project to enable Oman to build its own Space Application Center, scheduled for 2026,
  • training program: a Polish company is to train Oman businessmen and engineers as part of quarterly workshops

Tuatara, in turn, specializes in products based on artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive technologies. As part of the cooperation, this entity is to provide technological solutions enabling: analysis downstream images and data from satellites using Computer Vision, Machine Learning and AI technologies. by the climatic situation or natural disasters; interpreting business-relevant conclusions based on the images collected by the satellites.

The cooperation is likely to start in the last quarter of 2021. The value of the projects is estimated at several million USD.

From the left: Dr Piotr A. Wrzecionowicz (Wrocław University of Technology), Dr Saoud Humaid Salim Al Shaoili (Oman National Space Program), Prof. Grzegorz Wrochna (Polish Space Agency). From left to right: Damian Jamroz (SatRevolution SA), Grzegorz Zwoliński (SatRevolution SA), Ammar Al Rawahi (ETCO), Jarosław Lehmann (Tuatara Business Solutions LCC).

Another of the most recent threads of foreign cooperation announced by SatRevolution is the planned launch of the Polish company’s satellites on the Virgin Orbit carrier system. The inhabitants of Wrocław want to send two nanosatellites into space: STORK-3 and SteamSat-2. The devices will be put into orbit using the LauncherOne light rocket.

The first of these nanosatellites is to join the STORK-4 and STORK-5 “MARTA” instruments (currently still in the commissioning phase), placed in orbit during the June 2021 mission as the nucleus of a commercial Earth observation constellation. The purpose of the device will be to provide medium resolution images, with an emphasis on serving customers in the agricultural sector. The second satellite – SteamSat-2 – is presented as a demonstrator of the SteamJet Space System (UK) nanosatellite propulsion technology. The material used in this case is water.

The launch of the LauncherOne system, marked as STP-27VPB, will, in addition to the nanosatellites of the Polish company, also cover the cargo commissioned by the US Department of Defense. The Pentagon ships devices from several government agencies that assume the implementation of experiments in space communication and navigation. Nano-satellites created by American universities thanks to funding from NASA will also be sent.

The LauncherOne rocket prepared for this mission has already been transported to the launch site in the Mojave Desert in California (USA). The start is scheduled for the end of 2021.

The name of the mission (“Above the Clouds”) is a direct reference to the 1998 album “Moment of Truth” by Virgin Records (in cooperation with Noo Trybe Records) by the artist named Gang Starr. “Above the Clouds”, featuring Inspectah Deck from Wu-Tang Clan, appears fifth.