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Kestrel Eye 1

Kestrel Eye 1 [US Army]

The US Army Space Missile Defense Command is developing Kestrel Eye as an electro-optical nanosatellite- class imagery satellite that will be tasked by the tactical ground component Warfighter. Capable of producing 1.5 meter resolution imagery, Kestrel Eye’s data will be downlinked directly to the same Warfighter via a data relay network that is also accessible by other Warfighters in theater without any continental United States (CONUS) relay or data filtering.

The intent is to demonstrate a tactical space-based imagery nanosat that could be proliferated in large numbers to provide a persistent capability to ground forces. The primary objective of the demonstration will be to task the satellite to take a picture of a designated ground object of interest and have that image relayed back to the ground Warfighter during the same satellite pass (i.e., within an approximately 10-minute tasking-to-product cycle).

Maryland Aerospace Inc. (MAI) builds the Kestrel Eye 1 satellite based on their MagicBus platform.

Up to 30 Kestrel Eye satellites are considered to be launched, if the concept proves to be viable.

The first Kestrel Eye satellite will be launched as a secondary payload on a Falcon-9 v1.2 launch.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Reconnaissance, electro-optical
Operator: US Army
Contractors: Maryland Aerospace, Inc. (ex IntelliTech Microsystems, Inc.)
Configuration: MagicBus
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 50 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Kestrel Eye 1 - 2017 Falcon-9 v1.2 with ?
Further Kestrel-Eye missions: