2017.A.4.1. Enabling satellites mass customisation reducing complexity, time and cost


Jordi Barrera Ars (1)
Rafel Jordà Siquier (1)
Aleix Megías Homar (1)
Bastian Paetzold (1)

  1. Open Cosmos, United Kingdom




nanosatellite, payload development, mission development, modularity, flexibility, performance


Organisations and individuals aiming to develop missions and payloads to launch in space face 3 major barriers: technology, paperwork and cost. Current nanosatellite offerings have lowered some of them, but mission/payload developers still need to overcome technical and programmatic challenges distracting them from what adds value, the development of the mission and payload and retrieval of  the data from orbit. An alternative is to engage with a mission supplier that develops the platform and takes care of everything except the payload.This often poses programmatic, technical and cost constraints that make this option not possible.

Open Cosmos presents a service, product and methodology to enable mission developers develop the mission and payload at their own pace, with a step change in technical flexibility and capability and at a fraction of the cost. This is achieved using qbkit, a payload development platform and qbapp, a cloud based mission and system simulator. qbkit replicates the mechanical and electrical constraints of Open Cosmos’ satellite platforms while still being modular and flexible to enable payload developers to change the physical dimensions and configuration.qbkit allows system level functional and environmental testing without the upfront cost of acquiring engineering/flight models for the subsystems and platform. qbapp enables full mission and systems development and simulation with hardware in the loop when the payload is assembled in qbkit. qbapp simulates the behaviour of the platform configured by the user emulating its performance and constraints from the orbital parameters and subsystems selected. Once the payload is flight ready, it is integrated and tested into the chosen platform configuration and placed into orbit via Open Cosmos approved launch providers minimising time and cost. Once in orbit, the user can control the payload from qbapp the same way as during development while qbapp takes care of limiting the operational boundaries. This boundaries are set by the system configuration, mission parameters and the ground segment providers partnering with Open Cosmos with the objective to minimise downtime and increase reliability. This new approach enables a seamless transition from payload concept to payload in orbit, reducing risks, costs, complexity and time bringing mass customisation to satellites.


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