Space Beacon launched to monitor satellite health


Autonomous robot developer ANT61 has had its Beacon device (pictured) that diagnoses and potentially fixes issues with satellites in orbit sent into space for the first time.

The device was sent into orbit earlier this week from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden aboard a MAPHEUS 14 sounding rocket.

ANT61 develops autonomous robots that use AI-based control systems that enable them to perform various installation tasks.

The latest mission is designed to demonstrate how its Beacon robot can quickly and safely replace a broken part in another satellite in orbit.

The mission with German Aerospace Center (DLR) and SSC Swedish Space Corporation will how the Beacon can be used to restore a satellite back to life under challenging conditions.

Beacon is space-grade hardware and worked throughout the launch, surviving 12g of acceleration and 4Hz of spinning.

Beacon communicated with two different satellite constellations and measured their acceleration, velocity, rotation and attitude before reentering the atmosphere and landing in Northern Sweden.

ANT61 took to social media and said: “We have collected very valuable data during this flight.

“And yes, it still works – we are bringing it home to our office in the National Space Industry Hub.”

Beacon is designed to keep working should a satellite fail, sending information back to Earth about issues faced by the satellite.

Picture: ANT61

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