Industrial internet of things business Fleet Space Technologies has announced the launch of its seventh satellite, which was launched in the early hours of this morning on the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-5 mission.
This was the company’s third launch with SpaceX, following the successful deployment of Centauri 4 on the Transporter-2 mission in June 2021.
Centauri 5 will be placed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an expected altitude of 530km.
A 6U sized microsat with a total weight of 12kg, it will add capacity, reduce data transfer latency and provide additional network redundancy in the existing six-strong Centauri constellation, which Fleet operates in collaboration with Tyvak International.
Fleet Space CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said: “Centauri 5 will bring important new capabilities to our existing constellation.
“It also supports the development of our forthcoming Alpha constellation, which enables our pioneering ExoSphere mineral exploration tool with transformational benefits for the exploration of critical energy transition materials.”
Upgrades to the Centauri 4 payload includes enhancements that mitigate the effects of radiation in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), direct communication links to Fleet’s ground station, and an extended S-Band range, allowing uplink at standard ground station frequencies.
Digital beamforming provides extra gain, increasing the data rate, and also allows the S-Band frequency channels to be reused on the different beams.
This combination increases the satellite’s data capacity by 2.6 times. In a world first, the all-metal patch antennas are all entirely 3D printed.
The advances in 3D printing technology used in the construction of its patch antennal also feed into the development of the forthcoming fully 3D printed micro Alpha constellation, scheduled for launch during 2023.
Together, the two systems will provide continuous coverage, data rates up to 520 kbps and tailored frequency bands servicing current and future generations of IoT devices.
Picture: Fleet Space Technologies
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