German Orbital Systems GmbH (Berlin, Germany) works on the development of small satellites’ constellation for the D-Star communication on LEO orbit, the constellation will consist of 3U CubeSats. This project is implemented in partnership with iSky Technology s.r.o. (Prague, Czech Republic).
The first satellite called «D-Star One» is designed for technology demonstration with two D-Star communication modules onboard. These modules will be fully dedicated to the amateur radio community. Subsequent satellites will have enhanced capabilities and address larger potential customer groups. D-Star One will become the first private German satellite, i.e. designed and built on own company funds.
German Orbital Systems is developing the satellite’s concept, its subsystems, and software. iSky is carrying out mission analysis, environmental analysis and planning a launch program with the launch providers. The result of this long-term evolutionary design approach will be the most capable communication CubeSats ever built.
“We believe, that the CubeSat constellation will become a real alternative to the GEO orbital communication infrastructure”, German Orbital Systems CEO Walter Ballheimer said: “CubeSats are much cheaper and can be launched to the LEO in rideshare configuration. This project will allow us to develop highly capable systems, which could be used for commercial and governmental purposes.” He also announced the begin raising an undisclosed amount from the German venture investors to speed up the development of the constellation, as well as to seek support from the German Aerospace Center DLR.
The launch of D-Star One in a rideshare configuration is scheduled for the end of 2017 by Soyuz-2/Fregat launcher from Vostochny launch site.
German Orbital Systems is a Berlin based New Space Company. It was founded in 2014 by the former scientific staff of the Technical University of Berlin and is the only German company with the focus on CubeSats on the market so far. The product portfolio includes subsystems and turnkey satellite missions, which consist of the ground, space, and the launch segments. Since 2016, GOS has been responsible for separation sequence as part of ECM Space Technologies GmbH CubeSat dispensers, which have been successfully launched on Soyuz-2/Fregat launcher on the 14th of July 2017 from Baikonur launch site. On the maiden flight, GOS hardware was involved in the separation of 15 CubeSats from Fregat upper stage.
iSky Technology is a Czech New Space start-up company established in 2016. Currently, iSky is occupying actively a niche of missions strategic planning and “turn-key” space market analysis for customers worldwide. iSky develops conceptual solutions for businesses of numerous customers from the space industry: from mission design to launch options and satellite operation on orbit.