Tyvak International launched its seventh Nanosatellite, FLEET Space Centauri 4, aboard SpaceX Falcon9, taking off from US launch site Cape Canaveral.
Centauri 4 incorporates a digital beamforming technology, making this Fleet Space’s most advanced payload yet. Incorporating this technology in a nanosat is a major achievement and will allow substantial increases in the throughput of customer data. Tyvak International’s mission operations team successfully acquired the signal at the first available pass and switched ON the payload only a few hours from orbit release, continuing their tradition of rapidly commissioning spacecraft.
The payload includes a highly innovative, lightweight, beam-steering antenna, an AI-driven computer server, and a satellite modem. These features will help transform the ability of the worldwide industry to manage and control in real-time their remote assets, through the IoT communications payload onboard as well as connect thousands of sensors monitoring critical infrastructure across the world in real-time, 24 hours a day.
The Fleet Space smallsats are servicing IoT customers who will reap the rewards of collecting and organizing vast amounts of data from every remote corner of the Earth. Critical infrastructure customer use cases include tracking power outages, receiving alerts of unwanted encroachments along easements and bushfire risks, defense applications, mining, and logistics.
Falcon 9 is a rocket that can carry cargo and humans into Earth’s orbit, even reaching the International Space Station (ISS). It is produced by American aerospace company SpaceX. Technically, it is a partially reusable, medium lift launch vehicle.
The rocket has two stages. The first (booster) stage carries the second stage and payload to a certain altitude, after which the second stage lifts the payload to its ultimate destination. The rocket evolved through several versions. V1.0 flew from 2010–2013, V1.1 flew from 2013–2016, while V1.2 Full Thrust first launched in 2015, encompassing the Block 5 Full Thrust variant, flying since May 2018.
The booster is capable of landing vertically to facilitate reuse. This feat was first achieved on flight 20 in December 2015. Since then, SpaceX has successfully landed boosters over 100 times. Individual boosters have flown as many as thirteen flights. Both stages are powered by SpaceX Merlin engines, using cryogenic liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) as propellants.
The heaviest payloads flown to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) were Intelsat 35e carrying 6,761 kg (14,905 lb), and Telstar 19V with 7,075 kg (15,598 lb). The former was launched into an advantageous super-synchronous transfer orbit, while the latter achieved a lower-energy GTO achieving an apogee well below the geostationary altitude.