Niels Buus, CEO
With few exceptions, nanosatellite programs are currently implemented using traditional management approaches. However, realizing many of the potential benefits of a small satellite approach requires innovations in programmatic style. That is, as with larger satellites, small satellite programs can be costly or slow to implement. This is where GomSpace comes to the rescue. A leading manufacturer and supplier of CubeSat and small satellite solutions for academic, government and commercial markets, GomSpace’s offering includes nanosatellite systems integration, CubeSat platforms, advanced miniaturised radio technology and satellite operations.
Headquartered in Denmark, GomSpace’s international team is devoted to understanding its customer’s requirements and flawlessly delivering holistic space and aeronautics solutions. To highlight some of the company’s recent milestones – GomSpace has been chosen to develop advanced satellites for global air traffic management by Indra and Enaire’s Startical consortium.
Further, GomSpace will deliver a large-scale development and demonstration project, including the launch of three dedicated in orbit demonstration (IOD) nanosatellites. The project is part of Indra and Enaire’s plan to establish a novel global air traffic management service from space, allowing aircraft everywhere to coordinate with air traffic managers using VHF and ADS-B technologies. “This is a truly transformative project for GomSpace, and we are very proud to be the technology partner for this demonstration project based on nanosatellite technology, where we can make use of our prior knowledge on tracking aircrafts with nanosatellites,” adds Niels Buus, CEO at GomSpace.
Similar to larger satellites, GomSpace’s CubeSats also features multiple computers handling different tasks in parallel, including attitude control (orientation), power management, payload operation, and primary control tasks. The competitive prices of CubeSats have enabled unprecedented access to space for smaller institutions and organisations but, for most CubeSat forms, the range and available power is limited to about 2W for its communications antennae. Because of tumbling and low power range, radio communications are a challenge. GomSpace’s CubeSats uses an omnidirectional monopole or dipole antenna built with a commercial measuring tape. For more demanding needs, GomSpace offers high-gain antennae for CubeSats, but their deployment and pointing systems are significantly more complex.
In addition, this improved reliability of information and optimisation of air navigation services will help free up airspace in congested areas, facilitate air traffic controllers’ work, and result in more efficient, punctual, and even safer flights. The Enaire and Indra project will be carried out in two phases. From 2021 to 2023, the first one will address the technical developments necessary to ensure the viability of the solution and deal with the regulatory and market aspects. Once this first phase is successfully completed, according to both companies’ plans, a second phase, to be carried out between 2024 and 2027, will implement the provision of these services on a global scale, with the deployment of the complete constellation.