The project to create the EagleEye microsatellite system, submitted by an initiative group led by Creotech Instruments SA (consortium leader with the participation of the Wrocław company Scanway Sp. Z oo and the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences) received funding in the amount of PLN 29 from the National Center for Research and Development at the beginning of 2020. PLN. 8 million. In terms of the amount awarded, the project was the second of the 15 Polish space projects recapitalised at that time, which NCBR indicated for implementation as part of the Fast Track “Space Technologies” competition.
Currently, the consortium recalled its commitment, informing about the commencement of a technical dialogue with potential rocket suppliers and the launch service, which is to enable the final launch of the satellite, which is still under construction, in the appropriate operational orbit. It was confirmed that the construction of the Polish facility is planned for 2023.
EagleEye is to be a 50 kg instrument based on the HyperSat microsatellite platform, which has been developed by Creotech Instruments engineers since 2017 as part of a separate program financed by the NCBR. The main elements of the platform are the on-board computer, satellite positioning system in space (AOCS), power distribution system, efficient telecommunications system, structure and solar cells. “All the above modules are developed in Poland, which is critical for the planned applications of the microsatellite platform in future programs for the security and defense sector of our country,” declared the consortium representatives in a communiqué.
In June 2021, the microsatellite platform HyperSat successfully passed endurance tests in a thermal-vacuum chamber at the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Currently, it is subjected to vibration tests simulating the launch of a rocket.
As part of the work on the EagleEye satellite, the HyperSat platform will be equipped with an optical telescope, which is being developed by another Polish company – Scanway Sp. z o. o., the computer subsystem is prepared by the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences. “The telescope will enable the satellite to obtain images with a resolution of one meter in the visible and infrared bands, and thanks to the use of algorithms based on artificial intelligence, it will be possible to obtain even higher quality images” – signal the partners of the project.
As they further assure, the telescope is currently at the final stage of design work. It is to be manufactured and tested by the end of this year.
In 2020, Scanway Sp. z o. o. has completed a research and development project implemented under European funds, the aim of which was to develop a technology for the design and construction of precise telescopes for small satellites. Additionally, PCO SA (part of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa) was invited to cooperate here to ensure the appropriate level of optics of the device.
After the completion of environmental tests of the HyperSat platform, in September this year. it is planned to close work on the EagleEye mission profile. A decision has already been made that the mission will not only test the method of acquiring sub-meter resolution photos, but also conduct orbital maneuvers. The HyperSat platform has been adapted to work with the system of small rocket engines, which are currently being developed at Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation, in cooperation with Creotech Instruments SA
The EagleEye project is carried out in accordance with the quality requirements developed by NASA, implemented by the European Space Agency and according to the ECSS (European Cooperation for Space Standardization) standards.
As part of the EagleEye project, test procedures are being prepared in parallel by the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences, which are to enable the future serial production of this type of satellites and their implementation in the constellations of Earth imaging. The center is also expanding its test infrastructure.
The EagleEye satellite project is implemented under the Intelligent Development Operational Program and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. Its implementation began in mid-2020. “With the dispatch of the EagleEye satellite into orbit in 2023, the Polish industry and scientific institutions of the space sector will have full capacity to produce and implement complete microsatellite units (weighing 10-100 kg) for Earth observation” – ensure the partners of the project.
Source: Creotech Instruments