Small Satellites Unit

We design and build turn-key satellite platforms for scientific and commercial missions

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
Volume 6U 12U
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)
Quality Certified ISO9001:2019
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.


Platform Hawk-6
Launch NASA Artemis 1
Launcher NASA SLS
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
Generated Power 80W
Orbit 7000 – 400000 km cis-lunar
Credits by NASA

For further information:
Press Release – Italian version
Press Release – English version

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.


Platform Hawk-6
Launch June/July 2021
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
Propulsion cold-gas
Generated power 80W
Orbit interplanetary trajectory at 0.07 AU

For further information:
Press release – Italian version
Press release- English version

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.

For further information:
Press Release Italian Version
Press Release English Version

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