High Earth Orbit Robotics (HEO), an Sydney-based company that provides cubesat services in high earth orbit, has just teamed up with the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at the University of New South Wales Sydney (UNSW).
The partnership aims to develop navigation solutions for cubesats at high altitudes, so that cubesats will be able to use GNSS services to maneuver above 1,000km.
According to HEO, such a service is needed because “There are hundreds of spacecraft in orbit today with GPS modules that provide their exact location. When near to Earth, this works well…..special designs are required to enable the technology at higher altitudes. And with the minituarisation of satellites and systems to cubesat form factors, any such satellite GPS needs to be smaller and consume less power”.
Within the partnership, ACSER will bring its expertise in ground-based and space-based GPS, building on preliminary data showing increasing feasibility of high-orbit navigation. HEO will contribute by using its experience working with cubesats in High Earth Orbit (above 36,000km); the company is currently working on Mission Argus, which will use its spacecraft HERO-1 to track space debris from 500km above Geostationary Orbit (GEO), and Mission Salus, which will use micro-spacecraft to prospect asteroids for asteroid mining. Last month, HEO launched an asteroid alert service which informs subscribers of asteroid passing through Earth Orbit.