Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) has completed the build of the Telesat LEO 3 demo smallsat and shipped the spacecraft from the Toronto integration facility to New Zealand where the satellite arrived this week at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1.
Following inspection to ensure the satellite shipped safely, LEO 3 will be integrated with the Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle. Launch is scheduled for no earlier than Q3 of 2023. Once on-orbit, LEO 3 will provide continuity for customer and ecosystem vendor testing campaigns after the decommissioning of Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite.
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Telesat selected SFL to build LEO 3 on a relatively, aggressive schedule. With a mass of 30 kg, the 30x30x45 cm satellite is based on SFL’s scalable and versatile DEFIANT smallsat platform. Currently, more than a dozen DEFIANT satellites are on-orbit, serving SFL clients in a variety of applications.
“SFL is pleased to have been chosen by Telesat to meet the challenge of building a cost-effective microsatellite with a robust design to achieve its high-bandwidth demonstration goals in Telesat’s target orbit. This continues SFL’s long standing history of enabling business success through smaller satellites developed at low cost.” – Dr. Robert E. Zee, Director, SFL
SFL’s 25-year heritage includes 65 operational successes totaling 250 cumulative years in orbit, with an additional 27 satellites under development or awaiting launch. Customized payloads include a wide range of applications related to Earth observation, atmospheric monitoring, ship tracking, communication, radio frequency (RF) geolocation, technology demonstration, space astronomy, solar physics, space plasma, and other scientific research.