When we talk about a new space-time, every second counts. If they talked about the “space race” between the United States and the Soviet Union a few decades ago, nothing today has changed the need to be first … or to achieve a place before the race. The difference is that what was once a tug of war between two great powers (and no one else) is now much more open competition, including many other countries and private companies that can put their space business ideas into orbit.

Your company’s contribution

We are talking about the starting point for each project, which requires the remaining 7 steps. This step can be summarized in six words: What do you want to do? Defining your space company idea is everything. If that doesn’t work, the rest of the project can break down like a house of cards. You need to clearly state what your business is doing, what type of information you want to receive, and what your needs and goals are.

If necessary, at Alén Space, we also offer a previous consulting service that will help complete all the necessary details to start the project.

Platform and space operation design

This discusses the architectural and design of the project. If we asked you to answer the question “What do you want to do” in the previous step, now is the time to decide how to do it.

At this point, we perform a detailed analysis and design of the task and the nanosatellite constellation. That is a purely theoretical part. Keep in mind that each project needs to consider how the space department, the base segment, and the user segment work, as we discussed in detail earlier in this second article on IoT services in space.

One of Alén Space’s strengths is related to this, as we are independent of suppliers of hardware, software and components. Because we do not have exclusive rights to other manufacturers, we can see the products on the market and select the best components based on their performance, cost and delivery times. In this way, we can best meet the wishes and requirements of the project.

Simulations also play an important role in this second phase, especially in terms of the constellation of satellites and the composition of the network of ground stations. There are software tools that allow testing at different orbits (e.g. equatorial or polar), altitudes, number of nanosatellites, location of earth stations, etc. This allows different scenarios to be analyzed to make comparisons between simulations to see which options are more efficient and best match the features of the project.

Approval and full assessment of the subsystem

Here we move from theory to practice. Don’t forget to build a house. Now that you have the architect’s plans and know what materials will be used on the site, it’s time for workers (in this case, engineers) to get to work. And as in this example, the quality of the work process and the know-how of the supplier determine the quality of the final product, whether it is a home or a nanosatellite.

At this point, the components that make up the nanosatellites are purchased and tested one at a time to ensure that neither the manufacturer nor your own team made any mistakes that could jeopardize the task.

This is to ensure that each subsystem complies with the specifications at mechanical, electrical and functional level.

Nanosatellite integration

When it is certain that each component is working properly and that it is properly integrated into the other subsystems, we reach a point where all the components need to be assembled to get complete and functional small satellites.

All this takes place in a clean room, which is a necessary installation for the integration of nanosatellites. Imagine an operating room where the entire medical staff is perfectly equipped with gloves, masks and jackets. Well, we’re talking something like that. In short, a sterile and isolated environment that is ideal for working with highly sensitive electronic components.