Livermore Tyvak Joint Space Telescope enters orbit
Thousands of images of Earth and space were captured by a compact space imaging payload developed by researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and his collaborator Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems.
Known as GEOstare2, the payload includes two space telescopes which together took more than 4,500 photos for space domain knowledge, astronomy and Earth observations that were relayed back to Earth during the month. latest.
The space telescopes were integrated into a Tyvak nanosatellite, weighing 25 pounds, which flew into orbit on May 15 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
“Our payload is performing very well; we are ahead of schedule for payment,” said LLNL astrophysicist Wim de Vries, associate program manager for the laboratory’s space science and security program. “The satellite is working extremely well.”
“We are more than happy with the quality and resolution of the images we received from the Tyvak-0130,” said Marc Bell, CEO of Terran Orbital, Tyvak’s parent company. “Our collaboration with LLNL has been incredibly successful so far and we are more than optimistic for the future.”
To date, flying in low Earth orbit at 575 kilometers (or 360 miles above sea level), GEOstare2 has taken more than 2,000 ground images of the Earth, as well as more than 2,500 images for space domain knowledge and l ‘astronomy.
The goal of space domain knowledge is to track satellites and debris in space to avoid collisions. “It is much easier to perform space realm awareness from space because you don’t have to look through the clouds and you don’t have to wait for darkness,” said de Vries.
The technology was developed by LLNL and Tyvak under a four-year, $ 6 million cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to advance compact satellites for commercial applications. It combines LLNL’s Monolithic Telescope (MonoTele) technology with Tyvak’s expertise in producing high reliability spacecraft.
The MonoTele consists of a space telescope made from a single plate of monolithic fused silica, allowing the optical lens to operate within tight tolerances. This approach does not require alignment in orbit, greatly simplifying the design of spacecraft and favorably affecting the size, weight and power requirements of spacecraft.
Developed by LLNL over the past eight years, MonoTele space telescopes range in size from one inch (called a mini-monolith) to eight inches.
One of the GEOstare2’s two telescopes has a narrow field of view with high resolution, while the other has a wide field of view with excellent sensitivity.
The GEOstare2 payload, which travels aboard the Tyvak-0130 nanosatellite, is roughly the size of a loaf of bread and each sensor inside is 85 millimeters (or 3.3 inches) in diameter and 140 millimeters ( or about six inches) in length.
The Tyvak spacecraft features an advanced and stable attitude control system that includes three-star trackers, four ultra-smooth reaction wheels, and a high-performance flight computer, all developed and manufactured by Tyvak.
A one-inch mini-monolith space telescope built by LLNL has previously flown into space aboard the Tyvak-0192, also known as the Cerberus, and another 85-millimeter version was used on the GEOstare1 satellite which was launched in January 2018.
In addition to de Vries, the LLNL team that built GEOstare2 included mechanical engineer Darrell Carter, precision engineer Jeff Klingmann and Alex Pertica, physicist and deputy program manager for the Space Science and Security program. .
LLNL optical scientist Brian Bauman is the inventor of MonoTele technology – replacing the two mirrors and measuring structure with a single piece of solid glass, with optical shapes and reflective coatings on both ends of the glass.
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Irvine, California, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems is a satellite manufacturer and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Terran Orbital.
Tyvak nanosatellite systems
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ESA flying payloads on a wooden satellite
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