ICARUS start of operation

The space-bound German-Russian animal monitoring system ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) will start in-orbit commissioning today - 10 July 2019.

Final ICARUS tests at STI facilities

In this final test phase, ICARUS engineers and scientists are going to check all system components on ground and on board the ISS as well as the tags (transmitters) that collect the animal data, including:

  • Health testing: The ICARUS payload will be switched on after being dormant on the ISS for almost one year. After switch-on the health of all components will be checked.
  • Background noise testing: Since the communication between tags and ISS is based on extremely low-power transmission signals, the ICARUS antenna will globally record the background noise in the used frequency range. The noise map will be analyzed for potential disturbers.
  • Uplink testing: A test ground station at STI facilities in Kippenhausen, Germany will simulate up to 1000 tag signals and transmit them to the ICARUS Antenna on the ISS. Correct reception on the ISS will be verified by recording the transmissions and off-line analysis of the data.
  • Downlink testing: The ICARUS antenna on the ISS cyclically transmits ISS position information essential to establish communication between tag and ISS and commands for the tags. The signals will be received by the Kippenhausen Ground Station and will be evaluated by STI for completeness and correctness.
ICARUS animal tag blackbird
Tagged blackbird
  ICARUS bird migration
Bird migration

ICARUS system

ICARUS is a cooperative project with the Russian space agency Roskosmos and the German Aerospace Center DLR under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz. The ICARUS system was designed and built by SpaceTech GmbH, with contributions from the German SMEs vH&S, Rohde&Schwarz INRADIOS, STT-SystemTechnik and with support of UniBW in München.
ICARUS will provide a global and innovative approach for constant tracking of flying birds and land animals, covering a multitude of regions and species.
The system consists of the ICARUS Antenna, installed on the International Space Station (ISS), as well as the small, ultra-light-weight transmitters, carried by the animal - so called animal tags. The tags collect data of position, magnetic field, humidity, temperature as well as motion of the tracked animal.
The ICARUS antenna on the ISS covers the data reception from >100 animal tags residing within an uplink window of 800 x 30 km and can transmit data to tags in a downlink radius of 660 km.

ICARUS mission goal

The ICARUS project will deliver new insight and information about:

  • Wild animal behaviour in changing environments
  • Preservation of biodiversity and endangered wildlife protection
  • Dispersal and migration of animals damaging human food
  • Global disease spreading by animals
  • Earthquakes and other natural catastrophes (early warning system)

ICARUS is expected to be available to the scientific community in winter 2019 upon completion of all the tests.

ICARUS communication antenna tag
Communication between antenna and tag
  ICARUS animal migrations
Visible animal migrations

See video for more mission details here >

Get more insight about the technical side of ICARUS here >

 

Broadband internet for everyone everywhere – OneWeb Satellites mission launch

February 27th, 2019, Arianespace flight V21 has successfully launched the first six Airbus OneWeb satellites for the global broadband mega constellation. Perfectly on time the medium-lift Soyuz started from Guiana Space Center in Kourou French Guiana at 10.37 p.m. (UTC + 1 h).
1 h and 23 minutes after liftoff the six satellites were successfully separated to the Low Earth Orbit at approximately 1,000 km – close to their operational orbit.

OneWeb mission Phase 1

The deployment of Phase 1 includes 21 launches with the medium-lift Soyuz through 2020. The launches of the initial constellation of 650 satellites will be affected from three spaceports: Kourou in French Guiana, the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Vostochny in Russia.

OneWeb mission goal

This mega constellation is planned to grow up to over 900 Airbus OneWeb satellites to meet demand around the globe.
AOS will start customer demos in 2020 with the final goal of 24h global coverage in 2021.

SpaceTech’s part in the OneWeb mission

STI was selected to develop and deliver the 1800 mechanisms for successful deployment of the satellite’s solar panels.

 

1800 SpaceTech deployment mechanisms for OneWeb satellites

SpaceTech is proud to announce that we were selected by AOS (Airbus OneWeb Satellites) to deliver 1800 deployment mechanisms for the solar panels of 900 Airbus OneWeb satellites.

OneWeb mission goal

The AOS mission is aiming for a mega constellation of satellites to allow for global broadband internet: Affordable access to information for everyone everywhere - throughout all areas, even in the very rural ones that barely have access to internet nowadays.

The first 6 pilot satellites have already been built at Airbus in France - following production will be in the USA. Due to SpaceTech’s flexibility, we were able provide AOS with a QM development of the flight hardware of the carbofibre deployment mechanisms for the solar panels of 10 pilot satellites within only 3 months. They have already been delivered. Thus, SpaceTech proves once again its suitability for the New Space Market, being an experienced, flexible and highly cost-efficient space SME and reliable partner.

OneWeb launch

The first six pilot satellites have been launched successfully this February.
The launch start of the mega constellation is planned for beginning of 2020.

SpoaceTech Technik vom Bodensee erobert das All

Technik vom Bodensee erobert das All

Privat-Unternehmen erobern zunehmend das All. Für Aufsehen sorgte zuletzt die israelische Mondmission des Unternehmens Space IL und der Start der ersten sechs Satelliten im Rahmen des One-Web-Projektes für weltweites, schnelles Internet...mehr lesen >

OneWeb satellite separation

OneWeb successful satellite separation

Watch the successful separation of OneWeb satellites:

OneWeb launch satellite separation STI deployment mechanisms