Space services company Skykraft and composite materials manufacturer XTEK Limited have successfully completed the mechanical and vibration testing of a 500kg Payload Launch Stack which housed 24 representative Skykraft developed small satellites.
Funded by a grant from the Australian Space Agency the stack is capable of supporting and deploying 24 small satellites and was tested to qualification levels for the Indian Space Research Organization’s NSIL’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (ISRO – SSLV).
The design leverages composite materials in the stack produced with XTEK’s proprietary XTClave technology which produces composites without the need for autoclaving.
The companies said the material enabled reliably launching satellites constellations at scale.
Skykraft executive chair AVM (ret.) Mark Skidmore said: “Skykraft is in the business of deploying constellations of hundreds of Low Earth Orbit small satellites to service emerging markets and applications.
“To achieve this, we need to be able to launch several hundred kilograms of spacecraft payload on a rocket quickly and efficiently.
“We are thrilled that the technology successfully developed under this Australian Space Agency grant enables Skykraft to compete on the global stage in this new space economy.”
Skidmore said the program has enabled Skykraft to grow the in-house space engineering capability that are designing, developing and building 240 spacecraft for Skykraft’s Air Traffic Management Services satellite constellation to be launched in 2023.
The project was backed by $878,000 in grant funding, and was accompanied external design reviews with key Australian space industry representatives throughout the program.
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