End-of-life decommissioning is rapidly becoming a concern for satellite operators. Satellites’ onboard propulsive systems are not optimized for end-of-life maneuvers, leading to end-of-life operations that are long, complex, and expensive. These operations shorten satellite lifetime, and cannot be performed at all in case of satellite failure.
D3 is an independent, smart motor optimized for decommissioning maneuvers. Installed on satellites before launch, D3 removes them from orbit quickly, safely, and directly at end-of-life or in case of major failure. D3 is fully compliant with international space debris regulations, enabling operators of constellations to maintaining their operational orbits free from uncontrolled satellites, and reducing collision risk. Depending on the configuration, D3 can perform quick re-entry for LEO satellites, re-orbiting to graveyard orbit for MEO and GEO satellites.
Commissioning is a critical phase for full-electric GEO satellites. Electric propulsion produces very slow transfer (up to six months) from GTO to GEO, delaying revenue-generation.
During the transfer, the satellite is exposed to higher layers of Earth’s atmosphere, radiation from the Van Allen belt, and to space debris, with possible damage to the solar arrays and avionics.
D-Raise is a compact, independent, solid propulsion system optimized for commissioning maneuvers of full-electric satellite platforms.
Its compact, high thrust motor accelerates the transfer maneuver from GTO to GEO by boosting the perigee up to an altitude of 500km. The extended version is even capable to raise the perigee up to 10,000km, well above the Van Allen radiation belts and most space debris. D-Raise enables satellite operators to start generating revenues earlier, while preventing deterioration of satellite components, and reducing collision risk.
When it comes to launching, CubeSats are often treated like second-class citizens. Packed in bulk inside passive dispenser, piggybacked into upper stages, and released in swarm with no consideration for the specific needs of each operator.
With InOrbit NOW, your CubeSat will travel in business class inside ION CubeSat carrier, a satellite platform operated by D-Orbit.
ION packs a combination of 1U, 2U, 3U, 3U+, 6U, 6+, and 12U CubeSats in an environment designed to reduce vibrations and shock levels during launch.
Once released into space, ION is totally independent from the launch vehicle, enabling personalized deployment of each CubeSat onboard with an extremely low tumbling rate (less than 6deg/s).
A triple fault-tolerant mechanism guarantees the release of all satellites that may not be released nominally before the end of the mission.
With InOrbit NOW you can finally get the kind of launch and deployment service your CubeSats deserve.
With traditional dispenser, your CubeSat is released into an undefined orbital position, in conditions that can delay or even compromise your mission.
Enter Precision Deployment.
Precision Deployment is ION’s ability to release each CubeSat in a different orbital position, with the attitude, pointing, and impulse you need. Thanks to its attitude control unit, ION CubeSat carrier can modify its orientation. By calibrating the spring releases mechanism, each CubeSat receives the desired impulse. The release is ground-initiated, so you can release your CubeSats right above your ground station or in specific light conditions.
A standard dispenser release all its CubeSats in a swarm of narrowly dispersed satellites. If you are trying to build a constellation, it can can take months to move each CubeSats in its operational slot.
Enter Fast Dispersion.
Fast Dispersion is a release strategy that significantly reduces the deployment time of CubeSat constellations of up to 85%. By releasing each CubeSat into a precise orbital slot, we guarantee a wide separation between spacecraft, a faster signal acquisition, and a stable collision-free formation that is essential for spacecraft with no independent propulsion.
The ION CubeSat carrier is a satellite platform manufactured and operated by D-Orbit to carry out InOrbit NOW missions.
It is a complete spacecraft, with its own avionics, electrical and power, attitude control, thermal control, and command and data handling subsystems. Throughout its mission it can modify its own attitude to accommodate the specific needs of each client. The avionics are designed with high reliability in mind, so all of the mission-critical subsystems are redounded. The carrier assures also triple-fault tolerant release commanding subsystems.
A 60 cm cubic dispenser provides an internal volume that can accommodate several combinations of 1U, 2U, 3U, 3U+, 6U, 6U+ and 12U CubeSats along the vertical axis, until completion of the 48 slots available.
Each tube mounted onboard has its own independent spring release mechanism to guarantee that your CubeSat will be released at the right time and with the right impulse.
INTEGRATION: The internal volume of the dispenser is divided in CubeSat cages, each one tailored for the specific needs of its own individual spacecraft. During integration, we place CubeSats inside tubes to be assembled together in one single structure.
EXTENDED VOLUME: We are the only company offering an industry-record 18mm allowance for lateral protrusions like deployable antennas, lenses and structures, providing about three times the envolope defined by Cubesat Design Specification. Axial protrusions are allowed only for 3U and for top-most or lowest units in each tube.
Soft launch environment: The ION CubeSat carrier guarantees a launch environment with reduced vibration and shock levels.
Easy integration: Guaranteed access port during launch integration.
Multiple form factor support: A 48 1U volume to accommodate multiple combinations of 1U, 2U, 3U, 3U+, 6U, 6U+ or 12U CubeSats, with industry-record protrusion allowance.
Precision deployment: Each CubeSat is deployed independently following a command from the ground, with personalized attitude, pointing, and impulse.
Low tumbling rate: The tumbling rate upon release is kept below 6 deg/s.
Fast dispersion: Up to 85% faster CubeSat constellations deployment, with wider spacecraft separation, faster signal acquisition, and a stable collision-free formation.
Guaranteed release: A triple fault-tolerant mechanism guarantees the release of all satellites that may not be released nominally before the end of the mission.
MISSION ANALYSIS & DESIGN: A space mission is a delicate tradeoff between distinct, sometimes contradictory requirements. You want your CubeSat to carry all the hardware and consumables necessary to complete the mission, while avoiding any unnecessary redundancy that could increase mass, consume power, and waste propellant. This is the essence of mission analysis and design, the art and science of tradeoff. Lucky for you, we have the scientists you need (and some good artists too.)
PLATFORM ENGINEERING: To design and manufacture a satellite you need a good understanding of how multiple unfamiliar technological, environmental, and physical variables may affect the outcome of your mission. You need to select the best components you can afford, lay them out inside the available volume, take advantage of synergies between subsystems, and prevent possible interferences. If it sounds complex, it is: this is rocket science, after all. If it is your first time, give us a call: we will save you a steep learning curve.
TRANSPORTATION: Your CubeSat is an extremely delicate package that requires the best care during transportation. This is why we offer specialized transportation services from your manufacturing laboratory to our integration facility. We are prepared for all your transportation needs, ensuring the integrity of your equipment.
INSURANCE: All CubeSats must pass an array of acceptance tests, like thermal vacuum, vibrations, and shock. If you have never done it before, you may feel overwhelmed by the requirements. If you have done it before, you wish you could delegate it to someone else. Either way, we can assist you with this important step, and let you focus on what matters the most to you: getting your satellite to space.
ACCEPTANCE TESTS: In the space business things can go wrong in the most unexpected way. If you don’t feel comfortable with just crossing your fingers, we offer you a turnkey insurance package covering all the life cycle of your CubeSat, from engineering to the very end of your mission. Moreover, the insurance covers every single payload of your CubeSat, providing you with a parachute in case of partial failure. We partner with the most important insurance players in the market to provide you with competitive conditions.
PAPERWORK: If you don’t like bureaucracy, you should not launch a satellite. Or maybe you should let us handle it for you. Our experts know how to deal with every step of the launch campaign, so you can relax knowing that we will take care of filling in ITAR forms, prepare range safety assessment, and develop interface control documents (ICD) for you.
Your space mission is a complex endeavor, whose success depends on many factors. New requirements, like space debris mitigation and remediation regulations, demand innovative approaches to analysis, design, qualification, and testing.
D-Orbit is here to support you, providing expert consulting and best practices at mission level, system level, avionics design, and more.
Our ESA-certified clean room – category ISO-8 (“100000”) – is fully equipped with tools to prototype, manufacture, and test space equipment.
To ensure the best quality in the industry we work with state of the art tools and methodologies, including:
Are you working on debris mitigation solutions? D-Orbit can support your team in performing Phase 0-A feasibility studies, system analysis, and mission analysis.
We have expertise in development of control and estimation algorithms, with applications in orbit determination and Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS), and we can help you in design and development plans, and implement safety rules.
All space system and components must function under extreme hazardous and critical conditions for the duration of the mission. This is why reliability analysis is a critical step in space system design.
Our team have an established expertise in failure mode, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) and fault tree analysis (FTA), the most established practices to identify and address fault in design of critical space systems.
We develop in house many complex subsystems, including: Integrated Satellite Control Subsystems (OBC/OBDH)
Do you need similar products and subsystems? Call us to discuss a solution customized around your needs.
Onboard computers, avionics, and ground segment computer systems require reliable software, designed according to the best practices.
Our software engineers are specialized in critical software development, with a criticality level up to ESA level B. We develop onboard applications in C/C++ and ADA for LEON 3/4, ARM, and PIC microcontrollers, under CRTOS and RTEMS operating systems. These combinations are ideal for real-time, high reliability software.
We also develop software for Windows and Linux ground station using Pyton and JAVA, two modern high-level languages.
All software activities are developed according to ECSS Software and Product Assurance standards.