D-Orbit, in collaboration with Elecnor Deimos, now has a contract for the launch and deployment of ALISIO-1, a 6U cubesat procured by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC).
ALISIO-1 will be released from the ION Satellite Carrier, D-Orbit’s flexible and cost-effective satellite platform that is able to precisely deploy satellites in orbit and facilitate the testing of new technologies in space.
The satellite’s payload, fully developed by IAC, is an upgraded version of DRAGO (Demonstrator for Remote Analysis of Ground Observations), a short-wave, infrared (SWIR) space camera that is able to acquire images in the range between 1 and 1.7 microns. An earlier version of DRAGO was integrated as a third-party payload on D-Orbit’s orbital transportation vehicle ION Satellite Carrier SCV002, and successfully tested on-orbit in March of 2021.
The new version of the payload, named DRAGO-2, will reduce the ground sampling distance (GSD), which is a metric for photogrammetry and measurements in drone mapping and surveying projects, down to about 50 meters.
ALISIO-1 is IAC’s first satellite and the mission consists of taking medium-high resolution, SWIR images for environmental studies on desertification, oil spills and wildfires impact. The target orbit for this mission is a 500 to 700 km. SSO orbit and is scheduled to launch iin Q3 2023.
“We are very glad that Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias chose to work with us once more, this time as a launch partner,” said Renato Panesi, D-Orbit’s Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer. “This kind of affordable high performance space missions would have been unconceivable just a few years ago. We are proud to partner with them and Elecnor Deimos Space and launch the first Canary Island satellite.”
“With the launch and deployment of IAC’s ALISIO-1 we will have a better insight of the requirements needed for the next Earth and astronomy missions, through the application of state-of-the-art technologies,” said Pablo Morillo, Elecnor Deimos Satellite Systems Director. “This collaboration is also another example of the strong and enduring cooperation we are building with D-Orbit in small satellites deployment using Space Tugs, representing a step further in our commercial strategy for future complex constellations.”
D-Orbit offers space logistics and transportation services industry and has a track record of space-proven services, technologies and successful missions. Founded in 2011, D-Orbit is the first company addressing the logistics needs of the space market. ION Satellite Carrier, for example, is a space vehicle that can transport satellites in orbit and release them individually into distinct orbital slots, reducing the time from launch to operations by up to 85% and the launch costs of an entire satellite constellation by up to 40%. ION can also accommodate multiple third-party payloads like innovative technologies developed by startups, experiments from research entities, and instruments from traditional space companies requiring a test in orbit. The whole, fully redundant ION can be rented for edge computing applications and space cloud services to provide satellite operators with storage capacity and advanced computing capabilities in orbit.