D-Orbit has signed a launch service contract with Stellar Project, an Italian satellite component developer and manufacturer, for the launch and operations of Stellar Project’s LaserCube payload on D-Orbit’s upcoming ION Satellite Carrier’s mission.
Stellar Project’s LaserCube is a patented, miniature, low power, high performance, laser communication terminal that has been specifically designed for smallsats. With an independent pointing capability that allows throughput performance more than 10 times higher than traditional radio devices, LaserCube will enable innovative business opportunities in fields such as Earth imagery, weather forecasting, global telecommunications, and internet services.
LaserCube, as the optical telecommunication highway for smallsats, will deliver an increase in data volume, communication security and speed: another step toward accessible and affordable space technology for all.
ION Satellite Carrier (photo below) is an orbital transportation vehicle designed, manufactured and operated by D-Orbit that is capable of precisely deploying smallsats into their operational orbital slot and of operating multiple third-party payloads during the same mission.
“We are excited to test Stellar Project’s innovative technology,” said Matteo Andreas Lorenzoni, D-Orbit’s Launch Strategy Manager. “As a company that has begun their journey in Italy, we are proud to collaborate with an Italian startup that aims at revolutionizing the New Space industry and becoming a leader in its field.”
“We are very happy of the collaboration with D-Orbit to carry out the first mission of our “LaserCube,” said Alessandro Francesconi, Stellar Project’s Co-founder and Managing Director. “We look forward to exploring the potential of our technology as a first step toward the enablement of optical communication in space for small satellites.”
According to the agreement, D-Orbit will integrate the LaserCube payload onboard ION as well as arrange ground transportation from the integration site to the launch site at Cape Canaveral, and will overview the integration onboard the launch vehicle until launch to the target orbit. D-Orbit will then initiate the on-orbit demonstration (IOD) phase of the mission, operate the payload onboard according to a plan of operations agreed with Stellar Project, and downlink all the relevant data. The mission, named WILD RIDE, is scheduled for launch in June of 2021.