Luxembourg space company Spire has revealed a new game-changer “satellite bus”, doubling the capacity of the 16U cubesat, while having the same advantages as a nanosatellite.
The company, which is one of the most high-profile in Luxembourg’s space ecosystem, unveiled the next-generation satellite at Space Tech Expo Europe, in Bremen, Germany.
“The satellite bus is tailored for customers with missions that require larger payloads and more power, volume, and data capabilities than a conventional 16U, such as Earth observation and space domain awareness missions,” Spire said in a statement.
The space-to-cloud data and analytics company uses one of the world’s largest multipurpose satellite constellations to source hard to acquire, valuable data and enhances it with predictive solutions. It provides this data as a subscription to organisations around the world so they can improve business operations, decrease their environmental footprint, deploy resources for growth and competitive advantage, and mitigate risk.
Spire, which has a manufacturing plant in Glasgow, Scotland, has built and launched more than 150 satellites. Thanks to a partnership with Exolaunch, it has been able to further optimise the capacity and volume of its standard cubesat. According to Spire, the 16U satellite can accommodate payloads of up to 30 kilos.
“Increasingly we’re seeing that our customers’ missions require buses that offer the performance of a larger satellite with the agility of a nanosatellite,” said Joel Spark, co-founder and general manager, Space Services, Spire. “Our next-gen satellite has been a natural next step for us, driven by the needs of the market.”
In 2023, Spire will launch its next-gen 16U satellites to orbit, carrying payloads for Space Services customers NorthStar Earth & Space and GHGSat.