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ORB-12 Strider

ORB-12 Strider [OrbAstro]

ORB-12 Strider is a 12U CubeSat built by OrbAstro to test a propulsion system for Aliena-Aurora and many internally developed subsystems.

Orbital Astronautics Ltd (OrbAstro), a satellite and in-orbit service provider, has signed a contract with Aliena to fly its AA Multi-modal all-electric AOCS propulsion system onboard an OrbAstro ORB-12 (12U-class satellite) scheduled for launch in September 2022.

The ORB-12 Strider mission will carry a variety of payloads for in-orbit testing and demonstration, the primary of which will be the Aliena-Aurora (AA) propulsion system.

Aliena has collaborated with Aurora Propulsion Technologies of Finland to develop a multi-modal attitude and orbit control system (AOCS). The propulsion segment will include Aliena's MUlti-Staged Ignition Compact (MUSIC) Hall thruster and Aurora's ARM resistojets, which will share a common back-end architecture for propellant, electronic control, and fluidics.

The AA multi-modal all-electric AOCS propulsion system will allow customers with the most stringent mission requirements to benefit from the MUSIC Hall thruster's low-thrust-high-impulse mode of operation as well as the ARM resistojets' high-thrust-low-impulse mode of operation. This system streamlines the propulsion architecture, enabling dual mode propulsion in a compact and integrated product for formation flying satellite operations and advanced operations that rely on propulsion as an enabler.

Aside from the AA AOCS payload, OrbAstro will be testing a number of internally developed subsystems on the satellite, some of which are new and some of which are second or third generation, including:

  • Inter-satellite optical transceiver with two-axis precision steering mechanism as part of the company's Guardian Network constellation used for data-relay and autonomous satellite operations.
  • A semi-active multi-static SAR mission targeting 10 cm resolution 3D imaging will be piloted using a Ka-band transmitter with a high-gain antenna coupled to a 4 GHz bandwidth SDR.
  • Guardian Network satellite and space traffic management service uses onboard AI processing unit (100 billion neurons, 40 trillion synapses).
  • Kilowatt-class thermal management system that makes use of a phase change heat sink and hybrid deployable solar/radiator panels.
  • Long-life electrical power system in the kilowatt class
  • Compact optical imaging system with a ground resolution of one meter
Nation: UK
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: OrbAstro
Contractors: OrbAstro
Configuration: CubeSat (12U)
Propulsion: Aliena MUSIC Hall thruster, Aurora ARM resistojets
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
ORB-12 Strider 2023-109C 30.07.2023 Sr FLP PSLV-CA (2) with DS-SAR, VELOX AM, ARCADE, Galassia 2, NuLIoN, SCOOB 2


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