Wrocław firm to send thousands of new ‘business-friendly’ satellites into space
Wrocław-based satellite producer SatRevolution is sending thousands of new satellites into space.
The first to be launched on the Virgin Orbit and SpaceX Falcon 9 will be focused on helping the American agriculture market by processing data in space, something which the co-founder and CEO Grzegorz Zwoliński called a “complete innovation on the satellite market.”
Established in 2016, the Polish start-up now has offices operating in San Francisco and Didcot in England.
The firm has already launched several nanosatellites, Światowid, KRAKsat and AMICal Sat, and will add to their STORK constellation with the new electro-optical models STORK 4 and STORK 5 which is also known as MARTA.
Zwoliński told Newseria: “Our satellites will constantly monitor the Earth, provide information and thanks to this we will be able to counteract natural disasters much faster or produce food more efficiently and cheaper with less losses.”
Zwoliński continued: “We will be flying LauncherOne in June with Virgin Orbit. This will be their second start, and our first fully commercial mission for clients, building our largest Earth observation constellation.”
To make this happen, a plane will fly 35,000 feet into the stratosphere and launch the payload above the clouds. This prevents weather scuppering launches, means the rockets need to be less powerful and thus burn less fuel and it also has an impact on the ground with less fumes being created from the traditional take-offs.
The Air Launch will also allow companies to rapidly add satellites to their network anywhere in the world.
The SatRevolution satellites will launch to a ‘Sun-Synchronous orbit’ at around an altitude of 500 km. Sun-synchronous orbit satellites are useful for because every time an image is taken the surface illumination should be the same making the orbit useful for collecting images, gathering intelligence and following weather patterns.
The new STORK models are based on the UniBus 3U CubeSat satellite platform developed by SatRevolution.
The leap forward in this case is not only their smaller size but their processing ability which means that the data which is transmitted from space back to Earth is also streamlined, saving energy, time and bandwidth.
The SatRevolution Vision 300 optical payload will have a daily coverage of 61,400 km2. The satellites will be operational for the next three years sending back data constantly until June 2024.
SatRevolution is just one of the Polish firms busy leading the way with satellite imaging technology, Polish-Finnish firm ICEYE has launched a series of high resolution imaging satellites that has been helping monitor a number of industries and weather patterns.
Rafał Modrzewski, co-founder and CEO of ICEYE, told TFN: “I think when people hear about new technologies they are used to them being over-hyped, you try to filter through those to see where the revolution is real and I think people should pay attention to space.
“The amount of new capabilities that will be enabled is so massive that it is destined to revolutionise how we live our lives over the next several decades and small satellites, small sensors available at low costs in large numbers will be the way to do it.
“The way personal computers spread across the world, the accessibility and reliability will be making a difference a decade from now.”