SpaceX Launches VESTA Maritime
VESTAAbove: Members of the Aylesbury Space Team pose with VESTA
“While leading the way in demonstrating small data packet transfer from a small payload into remote maritime locations beyond our phone networks, this mission is also leading us into an even broader range of remote communication scenarios to increase the connectivity of our world.” said Chris Bee, Business Manager at Honeywell Aerospace in Aylesbury.
Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive, UK Space Agency said: “There are still vast areas of the Earth where communication remains difficult, none more so than out at sea.Satellites can bridge this gap, however testing new technology is risky and expensive. That’s why the UK Space Agency is helping to fund promising UK technologies like VESTA as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, to kick start innovation and growth, while delivering safety at sea and jobs back home.”
The 4kg satellite has 3-axis pointing capability, an SEU tolerant on-board computer, VxWorks operating system and also flies a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) VHF deployable antenna system developed by SSTL for the VDES transceiver. VESTA will be operated in orbit by SSTL, with the payload data being downlinked directly in S-Band to Goonhilly Earth Station.
The satellite will increase safety
and security in commercial shipping through better data exchange and
communication between ship and shore entities, while enabling a wider,
seamless data exchange for the maritime community. Applications include:
weather data, ice maps, security/piracy notices, engine management
reports, crew welfare and more.
Above: Drawing of VESTA unfurled