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Pioneer partner Open Cosmos are taking mission development to a new dimension, using a virtual reality-like simulation that replicates life in orbit for space technologies.
Through an innovative combination of a plug-and-play test platform and software, the UK Harwell-based SME is slashing the time it takes for space missions to be designed and qualified for launch.
Online - Software - Space - Mission - Ground
Their online 'beeApp' software helps define a full space mission from the ground up, including selection of launchers, ground stations and satellite size.
Based on those parameters, it runs simulations on the orbits, amount of power received by the satellite from the sun, and when it can communicate with the ground. This data is then used to create the optimal mission profile.
Hardware - Size - Computer - Interfaces - Satellite
Once that has been decided, their 'beeKit' hardware emulates the size, on-board computer and electrical interfaces of a real satellite, to facilitate the design and testing of the actual payloads.
When linked, these two tools can simulate the mission in space, and how the payload will perform.
BeeApp - Amount - Power - Ground - Station
The beeApp simulates the amount of available solar power, the ground station passes and the payload's modes of operation and plays it back to the real payload installed in the beeKit.
That then records the behaviour of the payload as if it was in orbit, providing the mission owners with the data they need to either improve the design or proceed with the mission as is.
Kit - Hardware - Match - Open - Cosmos
Moreover, the kit hardware is a match for Open Cosmos' beeSat operational platform, and can be tested along with the payload for the usual mechanical space-qualifying tests, such as vibration and thermal vacuum testing.
This means that after the payload has proven to be able to withstand the replicated conditions of launch and space in the beeKit, it can immediately be integrated with the beeSat spacecraft platform, ready for the real thing.
Cosmos - Care
Open Cosmos then takes care of all...
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