Astranis has started building four, geostationary communication smallsats as the company gears up to produce dozens and, later ,hundreds of them simultaneously. The company is building satellites at around 400 kilograms, making them one of the smallest geostationary communications spacecraft offered commercially.
This next production block of satellites includes an upgraded payload that drives higher throughput and various bus improvements to extend satellite lifetime. Astranis develops proprietary core technology, such as the software-defined radio (SDR) and procures mission-critical components from highly accomplished aerospace partners, like Aitech, which also provided flight computers for the first satellites that Astranis developed.
Aitech has spent more than 30 years developing rugged, reliable and space-rated electronics systems and components for use in a variety of government, commercial and private space programs. The company continues to develop cost-effective, COTS-based and custom integrated systems, depending on radiation and mission requirements, giving the company the ability to offer an extensive array of space solutions with the backing of several decades worth of engineering experience.
In addition to the Astranis smallsat program, Aitech provides other space-rated integrated systems for missions in virtually every orbit. Most notably, the company’s rocket motor controller (RMC) unit is on the Virgin Galactic VSS that successfully carried Virgin Galactic founder, Richard Branson, on the Unity 22 90-minute suborbital flight, further demonstrating the success of the SpaceShipTwo spaceplane.
Anthony Lai, Business and R&D Director for Space at Aitech, said, “Providing mission-critical systems for small sats throughout NEO and LEO orbits is just one aspect of Aitech’ space innovations. We’re also bringing GPGPU processing to in-orbit applications that will help facilitate artificial intelligence-based advancements throughout a number of space applications.”