Please make a donation to support Gunter's Space Page.
Thank you very much for visiting Gunter's Space Page. I hope that this site is useful and informative for you.
If you appreciate the information provided on this site, please consider supporting my work by making a simple and secure donation via PayPal. Please help to run the website and keep everything free of charge. Thank you very much.

SpaceBEE 1, 2, 3, 4

SpaceBEE [Swarm Technologies]

The four SpaceBEE, formerly known as BEEs (Basic Electronic Elements), picosatellites, built to the 0.25U CubeSat form factor are to demonstrate two-way satellite communications and data relay for Swarm Technologies Inc.

The mission is to test the world’s smallest two-way communications satellites to serve as a cost-effective low-data rate Internet of Things (IoT) network connectivity solution for remote and mobile sensors. The initial experimental space deployment is comprised of four satellites, each with a 1/4U form factor employing radar signature enhancement technology, which enables them to be passively tracked, and using VHF band frequencies for communications. There will also be an experimental deployment of ground stations for communications with the space units.

The mission is to demonstrate the capabilities of these picosatellites for serving low data rate communication relays for remote sensors and data collectors. Experimental operations is scheduled to begin upon launch for a period of at least 6 months and up to 2 years

The tiny satellites have very small radar cross section, which might complicate the tracking. Therefore they featured a GPS device in each satellite that would broadcast its position on request. Also the four smallest faces of the satellites are covered with an experimental passive radar reflector developed by the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which according to the FCC application would increase the satellites radar profile by a factor of 10.

The FCC dismissed Swarm’s application. Nevertheless, the satellites have been launched, apparently without a valid licence, in January 2018 on an Indian PSLV-XL rocket under the name SpaceBEE. The ownership of the SpaceBEEs remained obscure, until in an IEEE Spectrum article the identity of the SpaceBEEs with Swarm's BEE satellites was revealed.

A follow-on mission with larger 1U CubeSats was also not granted a licence after this.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Swarm Technologies
Contractors: Swarm Technologies
Equipment:
Configuration: CubeSat (0.25U)
Propulsion: none
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 6 months to 2 years
Mass:
Orbit: 493 km × 505 km, 97.56° (#1-4)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
SpaceBEE 1 (ex BEE 1) 2018-004AH 12.01.2018 Sr FLP PSLV-XL with Cartosat 2F, Microsat-TD, LEO Vantage 1, Carbonite 2, ICEYE X1, INS 1C, Arkyd 6A, CICERO 7, Landmapper-BC 3 v2, Lemur-2 68, ..., 71, Flock-3p' 1, ..., 4, MicroMAS 2a, PicSat, CANYVAL-X 1, 2, CNUSail 1, KAUSAT 5, SIGMA, DemoSat 2, Tyvak 61C, Fox 1D, STEP Cube Lab, SpaceBEE 1, ..., 4
SpaceBEE 2 (ex BEE 2) 2018-004AG 12.01.2018 Sr FLP PSLV-XL with Cartosat 2F, Microsat-TD, LEO Vantage 1, Carbonite 2, ICEYE X1, INS 1C, Arkyd 6A, CICERO 7, Landmapper-BC 3 v2, Lemur-2 68, ..., 71, Flock-3p' 1, ..., 4, MicroMAS 2a, PicSat, CANYVAL-X 1, 2, CNUSail 1, KAUSAT 5, SIGMA, DemoSat 2, Tyvak 61C, Fox 1D, STEP Cube Lab, SpaceBEE 1, ..., 4
SpaceBEE 3 (ex BEE 3) 2018-004AF 12.01.2018 Sr FLP PSLV-XL with Cartosat 2F, Microsat-TD, LEO Vantage 1, Carbonite 2, ICEYE X1, INS 1C, Arkyd 6A, CICERO 7, Landmapper-BC 3 v2, Lemur-2 68, ..., 71, Flock-3p' 1, ..., 4, MicroMAS 2a, PicSat, CANYVAL-X 1, 2, CNUSail 1, KAUSAT 5, SIGMA, DemoSat 2, Tyvak 61C, Fox 1D, STEP Cube Lab, SpaceBEE 1, ..., 4
SpaceBEE 4 (ex BEE 4) 2018-004AE 12.01.2018 Sr FLP PSLV-XL with Cartosat 2F, Microsat-TD, LEO Vantage 1, Carbonite 2, ICEYE X1, INS 1C, Arkyd 6A, CICERO 7, Landmapper-BC 3 v2, Lemur-2 68, ..., 71, Flock-3p' 1, ..., 4, MicroMAS 2a, PicSat, CANYVAL-X 1, 2, CNUSail 1, KAUSAT 5, SIGMA, DemoSat 2, Tyvak 61C, Fox 1D, STEP Cube Lab, SpaceBEE 1, ..., 4

References: