The company, based in Vilnius (Lithuania), has developed the satellites that will play a key role in the development of Internet of Things (IoT) systems. Nanosatellites can reach practically any point on earth, even in regions where there is no other infrastructure.
"We are developing the corresponding satellite platforms or satellite buses, as we call them. 80 percent of the stallite buses comply with standards, but we can tailor the satellites to the specific requirements of special operating conditions," says Vaida Karaliunaite, CMO of NanoAvionics.
So far, NanoAvionics' customers have optimized the platforms for agricultural applications, to monitor endangered wildlife in Africa, to conduct climate change studies, and to track the growth of marine algae.
This month, NanoAvonics received an order for the production of "12U" nanosatellites that will be used to build a satellite bus for the Cathode-Less Micro Propulsion Satellite (CaLeMPSat) project in Singapore. (The CubeSat standard "12U" has the format 22.63 cm × 22.63 cm × 34.05 cm with a weight of 20 kg). The developments were carried out by SpaceSATS, Plasma Innovation Labs (PILS) and the Plasma Source and Application Center (PSAC) at the National Institute of Education of Nanyang Technological University. The project will test Hall Effect Thrusters (HETs) operating in previously unattained power ranges. Among other things, new techniques will be investigated to carry out certain manoeuvres with the satellites. These include maintenance tasks and flying in formations. In addition, the scientists want to develop methods to take the satellites out of service in such a way that they leave as little space debris as possible.
NanoAvionics plans to deliver the satellite bus before the end of February 2020, SpaceSATS and its partners plan to launch CaLeMPSat at the end of 2020.
NanoAvionics was created when Lithuania built its first satellites - LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1 - which were launched in 2014. The company is convinced that in the future space travel should be driven less by the state and more by private companies in order to reduce costs (New Space Paradigm).
The rapid development of nanosatellites, which in a few years have matured from an idea to real products, is a good example of this: Due to their small size, they are much cheaper to transport into space than large satellites - which enables them to be used in commercial applications.
Meanwhile, NanoAvionics has evolved from a company with ten employees in 2013 to a global company with 80 employees. NanoAvionics has locations in the Harwell Space Cluster in Great Britain and the USA, among others. The headquarters are located there near the main investor AST & Science in Texas. It develops products for the US market that meet the requirements of US government agencies and NASA. NanoAvionics has successfully completed more than 75 projects.