OpenConstellation To Get EO Satellite Via SAC

9th Jun 2023
OpenConstellation To Get EO Satellite Via SAC

Satellite Applications Catapult, a leading space innovation and technology company, and space mission provider Open Cosmos, have inked an agreement to launch a new Earth observation satellite. This new satellite will become part of the Open Cosmos’ OpenConstellation. 

“Instrumental in understanding global environmental challenges”

The agreement will see the two space companies launch a key demonstration satellite, which could launch as soon as the first quarter of 2024. CEO of Open Cosmos, Rafel Jordá Siquier, stated that the “satellite will be instrumental in better understanding global environmental challenges – especially the ones affecting the Atlantic Ocean and coastal areas.”

Joining the Open Cosmos’ OpenConstellation, the satellite will host a miniaturised Earth Observation payload. This will have integrated processing capabilities onboard, which will be responsible for obtaining, processing, compressing, storing, and forwarding medium-resolution hyperspectral imagery for Atlantic maritime and coastal areas. 

The purpose of the mission is to provide a concept of operations for a constellation that performs pole-to-pole observation of the Atlantic Ocean. This involves systematically acquiring images from pre-defined maritime and land targets and on-board image processing. 

OpenConstellation Monitoring the Atlantic

The satellite will also demonstrate a number of the solutions and capabilities that a future constellation for monitoring the Atlantic could deploy at scale. 

This is an ambitious project to utilise data gathered from satellites to deal with challenges facing the Atlantic Ocean, which includes everything from illegal fishing to ocean pollution. 

The imagery and data the satellite gathers will be used as part of climate change monitoring and marine ecosystem research based on frequent revisits and fast coverage of the area of interest.

This essential data will be accessed by international and national governments, as well as commercial businesses and scientific organisations. 

Part of the IOD programme

The satellite is part of the In-Orbit Demonstration programme, which was launched by Catapult and funded by the UK Space Agency and Innovate UK. The IOD programme provides partners with a cost-efficient, fast-track opportunity to test their technology or service on a CubeSat mission that is launched into Low Earth Orbit.

This aims to accelerate the time to market for innovative services and products from space. The CEO of Satellite Applications Catapult, Stuart Martin, has said the following:

“The IOD programme was designed for exactly this kind of mission and for companies leading the evolution of the sector like Open Cosmos.”

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