Founded in 2008, Axelspace Corporation has designed, built and is operating vie smallsats — from 2015, the company started building AxelGlobe, the next-generation Earth Observation (EO) platform that consists of multiple smallsats to cover various parts of the world with high frequency — the company launched their first GRUS-1A in December of 2018.
For the firm’s upcoming launch, the manufacturing process for four satellites (GRUS-1B, 1C, 1D, 1E) is almost complete and the final preparation for the shipment is being completed as the company awaits confirmation of the actual launch date.
Lowering satellite manufacturing cost and shortening delivery time are becoming critical topics in order to move forward with the mass production of satellites. Innovation in the manufacturing process of on-board components for satellites is vital, welcoming mass production and moving away from single unit production.
Axelspace decided to newly develop two, different, on-board components with partner companies. These developments have been selected and awarded a grant, FY2020 “Program to Support Ventures for Developing Space Components,” by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Development Component 1
Membrane Deployment De-Orbit Mechanism
Space debris is a growing concern and proper disposal of newly launched satellites, after the end of operation, by deorbiting is fast becoming a requirement. Satellites for LEO, developed by Axelspace, will re-enter the atmosphere and disintegrate, before reaching the ground. The company has been developing the membrane deployment de-orbit mechanism to accelerate the speed of lowering the orbital altitude and as announced on June 9th this year, the project has been selected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (“JAXA”) for the demonstration theme of “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration-3.” The component will be developed in partnership with Sakase Adtech Co., Ltd.
Development Component 2: Reaction Wheel
Reaction wheel is one of the attitude control systems and a crucial component for a satellite like GRUS with demanding requirements for precision attitude control. Diversification of suppliers of reaction wheel for microsatellites has been needed, as there are challenges with the cost and delivery time, in addition to the short supply as the vendors are limited. The component will be developed in partnership with Shinano Kenshi Co., Ltd.
Axelspace will continue to work toward the development of high-performance/high-quality smallsats combined with a low cost/short delivery time, together with all partner companies.