LuxSpace to develop new microsatellite platform

An artistic rendition of LuxSpace’s ESAIL spacecraft based on the Triton-2 platform

LuxSpace has announced an ESA co-funded project to develop and space-qualify a new multi-purpose microsatellite platform. Called Triton-X, the new platform reflects the New Space philosophy, targeting in particular commercial applications for which affordability and time-to-market are paramount. This includes satcoms, earth observation, situational awareness, and technology demonstration.

 LuxSpace, based in Luxembourg, is a subsidiary of OHB SE, one of Europe’s leading satellite manufacturers. ESA is supporting the Triton-X project through the ARTES programme.

LEO Constellations

Enabling affordable Low Earth Orbit constellations is a key design requirement for the new platform. This means low recurring costs, with efficient manufacturing, assembly and testing processes optimised for fast time-to-market.

To achieve these objectives, LuxSpace will draw on know-how and experience gained through several previous missions, including Pathfinder-2 (LuxSpace’s early AIS validation mission), Vesselsat-1 and -2 (both AIS satellites flown for Orbcomm), 4M (the first privately funded Moon mission) and most recently ESAIL, which is based on LuxSpace’s Triton-2 high-performance AIS platform that is being developed in an ARTES Public Private Partnership between LuxSpace, ESA, and exactEarth.

PROJECT PHASES

LuxSpace electronics and avionics experts analysing the latest version of Triton-2 avionics equipment

In the initial phase of Triton-X, LuxSpace will define the overall system architecture. The company will also invite partners to join the project as part of the core industrial team and build long-term industrial relationships to develop the product line. 

In the second stage of the project, the Triton-X consortium will embark upon the process of implementing and qualifying the new platform for space.

The third and final phase of the project will encompass the launch of the first Triton-X flight model to gain in-orbit validation. This should pave the way for the deployment of LEO constellations in the future. 

“In today's rapid evolution of the space market, ESA is continuing to support European industry in the most effective manner, by adapting with industry to the working methodologies of New Space. Within that context, this project is a good example of how ESA can respond to the needs of Industry as they address the emerging opportunities created by microsatellites’, says ESA’s Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.

  

Join the Triton-X consortium

Industrial partners from across the entire supply chain, whether from ESA Member States or from non-Member States, are invited to contact the ESA and the LuxSpace project managers to discuss how they can participate in the Triton-X consortium.

Published 23 August 2017
Last updated at 13 September 2017 - 08:49