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ION-SCV 002, 003

ION-SCV 002 [D-Orbit]

The ION-SCV 002 Laurentius (ION - Satellite Carrier Vehicle), developed by Italian company D-Orbit, is a free-flying CubeSat deployer and technology demonstrator. The CubeSat carrier will host several CubeSats to be deployed once in orbit.

ION-SVC-2 is the first flight of the improved propulsive ION mk02 platform. Positioned in a sun-synchronous orbit at 500 km, ION-SCV 002 will deploy the hosted CubeSats one by one along the orbit in precise orbital slots, according to customer’s specifications. After the CubeSat deployment phase, which may last up to one month, ION CubeSat Carrier will initiate the in-orbit validation phase of payloads directly integrated on the platform.

During the mission, named PULSE, the ION SCV 002 Laurentius will deploy 20 CubeSats in orbit - 8 Flock-4s and 12 SpaceBEE.

It also hosts a number of non-deployable experiments, which include:

  • DRAGO (Demonstrator for Remote Analysis of Ground Observations), a space camera in the near infrared to make Earth Observations developed by the IACTEC-Space programme of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). For this mision, the DRAGO payload is integrated in a standard CubeSat structure which will connect it with the electrical and data interface of the ION Satellite Carrier.
  • ARGO 1.0, a fully autonomous plug & play star tracker, developed by the Italian company EICAS AUTOMAZIONE in the frame of H2020 SME-INSTRUMENT ARGO PROJECT (GA# 738589), specifically designed for satisfying the needs of the emerging small satellites market, especially in term of cost-competitiveness. The In-Orbit Demonstration onboard the ION Satellite Carrier is focused on in orbit validation up to TRL9 of the core functionalities of the system, including attitude determination and tracking, in flight auto re-calibration of the camera model and robustness to high speed and acceleration manoeuvres.

It was launched on a Falcon-9 v1.2 in 2021 from Cape Canaveral.

The ION-SCV 003 Dauntless David (ION - Satellite Carrier Vehicle), is a free-flying CubeSat deployer and technology demonstrator. The CubeSat carrier will host seven CubeSats to be deployed once in orbit.

During the mission, named Wild Ride, the ION 003 Dauntless David will deploy 6 CubeSats in orbit: NAPA 2, Spartan, Neptuno, W-Cube, Ghalib, and QMR-KWT.

It also hosts a number of non-deployable experiments, which include:

  • During the in-orbit demonstration phase, ION will operate LaserCube, by the Italian Stellar Project, a payload hosted onboard through an innovative plug-and-play system that streamlines the integration of instruments and experiments developed independently by third parties.
  • The third phase will be focused on testing Nebula, a payload at the core of D-Orbit’s upcoming advanced services. The first iteration of Nebula, an on-demand, on-orbit cloud computing and data storage service being developed by D-Orbit UK, features Unibap’s SpaceCloud iX5-100 radiation tolerant computing module. A range of innovative applications will be demonstrated using sophisticated, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) techniques; some of these experiments will feature video compressing techniques from industry specialist V-Nova. Another Machine Learning payload, called “Worldfloods” and eveloped by the Frontier Development Lab (FDL) has the ability to identify flooding and send down a flood map to emergency responders seconds after image acquisition.
  • During the fourth and final phase, decommissioning, D-Orbit’s operations team will deploy ADEO, a small 1U-size de-orbit sail subsystem by the German HPS.
  • The mission will also feature a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) experiment in collaboration with media artist Daniela de Paulis and INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica). The experiment, which investigates the possibility to communicate with other kinds of life in the universe, consists in the transmission of simulated alien messages to be received and decoded by radio telescopes worldwide.

It will be launched on a Falcon-9 v1.2 in June 2021 from Cape Canaveral.

Nation: Italy
Type / Application: Satellite deployment
Operator: D-Orbit
Contractors: D-Orbit
Equipment: CubeSat deployers
Configuration: ION mk02 platform
Propulsion: ?
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
ION-SCV 002 (ION-SCV Laurentius, Pulse) 2021-006CV 24.01.2021 CC SLC-40 Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Starlink v1.0 R1-1, ..., R1-10, QPS-SAR 2, Capella 3, 4, ICEYE X8, X9, XR 1, GHGSat C2, Hawk 2A, 2B, 2C, Sherpa-FX 1, ION-SCV 002, AII-Charlie, Hiber 4, ASELSAT, PIXL 1, SOMP 2b, IDEASSat, YUSAT 1, UVSQ-SAT, V-R3x 1, 2, 3, Flock-4s 1, ..., 48, Kepler 8, ..., 15, Astrocast 0101, ..., 0105, SpaceBEE 40, ..., 75, Lemur-2 130, ..., 137, PTD 1, Prometheus-2 10, ARCE 1A, 1B, 1C
ION-SCV 003 (ION-SCV 003 Dauntless David, Wild Ride) - 2021 CC SLC-40 Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with (SpaceX Transporter-2)