UPDATE #6 - OCTOBER 11th, 2021 - NEBULA SUCCESSFULLY TESTED IN ORBIT
Nebula, our on-demand, in-orbit cloud computing, and data storage service integrated aboard ION Dauntless David has successfully been tested in orbit.
Designed to provide distributed high-performance data analytics computing and storage capabilities in space, Nebula is a hardware-software environment that enables end-users to uplink and run software and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) apps in a way similar to conventional, terrestrial cloud environments. The test campaign successfully executed 23 separate applications developed by a variety of partners for disaster monitoring, video and image data transfer optimization, space domain awareness, advanced image processing for precision agriculture, defense early warning, and integrated satellite communication.
All mission objectives have been accomplished, validating the approach of an advanced in-orbit computing platform capable of performing advanced computations on raw data directly in space, turning them into actionable information optimized for downlink.
UPDATE #5 - JULY 25th, 2021 - END OF THE DEPLOYMENT PHASE
ION Dauntless David successfully deployed all six satellites hosted onboard and will now proceed with the in-orbit demonstration of 12 hosted payloads.
The video shows the deployment of NAPA-2, a 6U of the Thai Royal Air Force
UPDATE #4 - JULY 19th, 2021 - THIRD SATELLITE DEPLOYED
The mission moves forward smoothly. Over the weekend, on Sunday July 18th, ION has deployed Napa-2, a 6U by Marshall Intech Techonologies.
UPDATE #3 - JULY 16th, 2021 - BEGINNING OF DEPLOYMENT PHASE
After concluding the LEOP and commissioning phase, today we have entered the deployment phase of the mission by successfully deploying QMR-QWT, a 1U by Orbital Space, and Ghalib a 2U by Marshall Intech Technologies.
UPDATE #2 - JULY 2nd, 2021 - BEACON RECEIVED
We received ION's beacon and our operations team is now performing a series of health check procedures required by the LEOP and commissioning phase in preparation for the operational phase. At the moment, all conditions are nominal.
UPDATE #1 - JUNE 30th, 2021 - LAUNCH
On June 30th, 2021, at 9.31 pm CEST, ION Satellite Carrier was launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida. On the same day, 60 minutes after liftoff, the vehicle was successfully deployed into a 500 km Sun synchronous orbit (SSO).
ION SCV Dauntless David will deploy six satellites into distinct orbits and perform the in-orbit demonstration of 12 hosted payloads. The mission serves clients from 14 different nationalities and brings the total number of payloads launched by D-Orbit up to 63.
(Photo credits: SpaceX)
ION "WILD RIDE" MISSION ROADMAP
PHASE 1 - COMMISSIONING
As soon as ION SCV Dauntless David reaches orbit, our spacecraft operations engineers establish a bidirectional communication channel. We then start the launch and early orbit phase (LEOP), neutralizing the rotation imparted by the launch vehicle during separation, correcting the attitude, testing the satellite’s subsystems, and preparing for the next phases.
PHASE 2 - COMMERCIAL PHASE, ORBITAL TRANSPORTATION
Once concluded the commissioning phase, ION SCV Dauntless David starts the commercial phase of the mission with the deployment of the hosted satellites into a 500km sun-synchronous orbit.
During this phase ION will deploy satellites of the Spanish Elecnor Deimos, the Bulgarian EnduroSat, and the Kuwaiti Orbital Space, which will launch the country’s first radio amateur satellite. Also on board, under contract with ISILAUNCH and integrated into a QuadPack from Dutch satellite manufacturer ISISPACE, are Finnish Reaktor Space Lab, Marshall Intech Technology from UAE, and the Royal Thai Airforce.
As in its previous missions, ION deploys satellites through its innovative deployment strategy, called FAST DISPERSION, which enables an even distribution of the spacecraft along the operational orbit within a fraction of the time allowed by traditional dispersion techniques.
PHASE 3 - HOSTED PAYLOADS PHASE
After the conclusion of the deployment phase, WILD RIDE will proceed with the in-orbit demonstration of LaserCube, an optical communication device from the Italian-based company Stellar Project.
PHASE 4 - ADVANCED SERVICES TESTS
This phase of the mission will be focused on the testing of Nebula, an on-demand, on-orbit cloud computing and data storage service at the core of D-Orbit’s upcoming advanced services. The first iteration of Nebula, which features an intelligent automation SpaceCloud iX5-100 radiation tolerant computing module by specialist Unibap, will demonstrate a range of innovative applications for advanced geospatial Earth Observation (EO) and Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) applications using sophisticated, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) algorithms for extremely low-latency decision support.
PHASE 4 - SETI EXPERIMENT
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 and potentially, in the future, by the radio-amatorial community at large.
PHASE 5 - DECOMMISSIONING
Finally, ION will enter the decommissioning phase through the testing of ADEO-N2, a small 1U-size deorbit sail subsystem, developed by the German space structures company HPS, that will lead to a faster, residue-free incineration of ION upon re-entry.