Small Satellites Unit
The Argotec Small Satellite Unit has the internal capability to follow all the phases needed to build microsatellites. In particular, the unit designs and develops nanosatellite missions from the concept of operations to the detailed development, the assembly, integration testing and operations activities. A specialized team, focused on system and integration activities, is in charge of designing and customizing the electronics and the on-board software.
The applications for small microsatellites range from LEO to Deep Space operations.
The HAWK Platform is the Argotec’s CubeSat, a reliable and cost-effective solution to bring payloads in orbit, to survive the Deep Space environment and to meet the customer’s requirements. The platform can be customized according to the payload’s mass, volume, launcher and mission objectives: the solution proposed by Argotec is scalable (from 6U to 12U) and modular to best fit the customer’s needs.
|Mass||< 14 kg||< 24 kg|
|Payload Volume Available||1.5U||4U|
|Payload Power Available||3.3V (up to 10W), 5v (up to 30W), 12V (up to 40W), 28V (up to 50W)|
|Payload Communication Interface||SpaceWire, RS422, I2C, SPI, UART, LVDS|
|Generated Power||80W Solar Panels (@1AU BOL)||160W Solar Panels (@1AU BOL)|
|Storage Power||120Wh Secondary Battery Pack (@BOL)||240Wh Secondary Battery Pack (@BOL)|
|Storage Memory||Up to 32GB|
|Telemetry, Tracking and Command||X/S/UHF/VHF Band, Compatibility with DSN, CCSDS Protocol|
|Guidance, Navigation and Control||GPS (LEO), DSN Tracking Service (Deep Space), Reaction Wheels (3-axis stabilization), Reaction Control System, Star Tracker, Inertial Measurement Unit|
|Propulsion||Cold-gas, Chemical monopropellant, Electrical propulsion|
|Radiation Hardness||>25 krad (2/o structure shielding)|
|Integration||Full Assembly, Integration, Testing and Verification (AIT/AIV) performed in-house|
|Launch||Launch booking, Transportation to launch facility|
|Operativity||Mission Analysis evaluation for orbit trajectory, deployment, commissioning, operations and disposal. Flight Control Team certified by JPL to exchange TMs and TCs with DSN Ground Stations|
ArgoMoon is a microsatellite for Deep Space exploration that has been selected by NASA as the only European payload that will fly on-board the new American, the Space Launch System (SLS), during its first mission, Artemis 1. ArgoMoon will be among the first microsatellites to be released by ICPS, the SLS second stage.
The main objective of the satellite is to take photographs of ICPS and pictures that confirm the other CubeSats have been released successfully. Moreover, several technological solutions will be validated in Deep Space environment, such as algorithms for autonomous tracking of specific targets. ArgoMoon is designed and built by Argotec under the coordination of the Italian Space Agency.
|Launch||NASA Artemis 1|
|Mission Duration||6 months|
|Size and Mass||6U, 14kg|
|Payload||2 electro-optical units for narrow and wide range, 1 range finder|
|Avionics||Radiation-tolerant up to 30 krad|
|Propulsion||Green propellants and cold-gas|
|Orbit||7000 – 400000 km cis-lunar|
LICIACube is a microsatellite for Deep Space exploration that has been selected by NASA as the only CubeSat to be launched with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, to witness and photograph the planetary defence mission developed by NASA.
DART mission is an asteroid mission, to the binary system of Didymos that will transit close to the Earth at a distance of about 0.07 AU. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impact technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space, by impacting on Didymos’ moonlet (Didymooon) at approximately 6.5 km/s in order to deflect the asteroid orbit.
|Launcher||Space-X Falcon 9|
|Mission duration||15 months cruise + 6 months of operations|
|Size and mass||6U, 14kg|
|Payload||2 electro-optical units for narrow and wide range|
|Avionics||radiation-tolerant up to 30 krad|
|Orbit||interplanetary trajectory at 0.07 AU|
ANDROMEDA is a microsatellite constellation that will provide a continuous real-time data access for third-party users in lunar environment. The high-speed communication solution will be compatible with current and future mission and will be able to offer a multi-user service with a global coverage of the Moon and a 24/7 coverage of high interest areas, such as the south pole.
This constellation will greatly simplify the communication with the lunar users, proving seamless end-to-end connectivity with different users, such as small satellites, surface assets and astronauts/space explorer. ANDROMEDA will make easier the exploration and the exploitation of the Moon.
Argotec intends to scale up the ANDROMEDA business model in order to offer a deep space telecommunication service also on Mars. In fact, the company won an ESA funded study to implement the microsatellite constellation solution in Martian environment. This will allow Argotec to support the whole range of activities that will be carried out on the Red Planet in the next decades.
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High-resolution photos for the Italian MicroSat, built by Argotec and ASI, that will be on NASA’s asteroid mission Turin/Rome, 12 July 2021 – LICIACube, a microsatellite built entirely in the Argotec laboratories in Turin for, and in collaboration with, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) is ready for shipping. It will be delivered to its integration […]
Argotec has been selected by ESA to design the first battery passivation system for MicroSats, “EREBUS”. The project is part of the ESA Advanced Research in Telecommunications (ARTES) programme and will result in a system that can passivate all small telecommunications satellites. Argotec will lead the project, design and test the electronics. Their collaborator, ABSL, […]
For three years, Argotec has been working on ANDROMEDA, a constellation of micro-satellites that will provide support to voice, video, and data transmission for scientific, technological, and commercial activities on the Moon. To improve this service, Argotec is also working on the first terminal that will be able to connect to this constellation, providing a […]
Argotec presents CARL (Satellite Attitude Control based on Reinforcement Learning), an innovative project that aims to develop an attitude control system for microsatellites based on Artificial Intelligence techniques. Argotec’s R&D department has been working on studies dedicated to the application of Machine Learning practices on microsatellite missions for years. CARL fits into the picture of […]
Today we joined the kick-off meeting of Quango, a new project that aims to design a secure communication network implementing Quantum technologies, 5G communications, and nanosatellites. More specifically, Quango aims to design a 12U-CubeSat low-earth-orbit satellite constellation, deployed in an orbit in space at 600km, that will combine capabilities for secure communications with QKD and […]
Argotec has won the announcement MARS COMMS/NAV promoted by the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to study and identify the most promising technologies in the field of Mars communications and navigation activities. The interest addressed to the red planet and all the activities connected is very high. As the prime contractor in a consortium […]
On September 16th, Riccardo Fraccaro, the Undersecretary of State at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, has visited Argotec. He was accompanied by an institutional delegation composed by the City Mayor Chiara Appendino, the Admiral Carlo Massagli, and the Council Member Marco Pironti . Within the company’s laboratories, the young Argotec team showed the […]
Marco Montemagno interviews David Avino, Argotec Managing Director. Space Economy, microsatellites, vision, Mars, future…Don’t miss this interesting chat!
Despite the Covid-19 emergency, Argotec is investing, hiring and presenting a new project: ANDROMEDA. ANDROMEDA is an innovative nanosatellite constellation for the lunar environment able to reconvert itself to face the global health emergency. For a long time, the company has studied using its Hawk satellite platform to develop a lunar constellation able to provide […]