NanoRacks Kaber Mission 1-NovaWurks-Satlet Initial Mission Proofs and Lessons (NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Microsat) - 09.26.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Instead of single large satellites launching on their own dedicated rockets, future satellites will be assembled in space using smaller components, delivered in large groups and assembled on the International Space Station. The NanoRacks Kaber Mission 1-NovaWurks-Satlet Initial Proofs and Lessons (NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat) investigation studies small components called satlets, which are building blocks of larger satellites that are launched from the NanoRacks Microsat Deployer. The satlets are combined to form larger satellites or satellite constellations that share power, data and other resources and perform many different tasks.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Talbot Jaeger, B.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Combined Satellite

Principal Investigator(s)
Talbot Jaeger, B.S., NovaWurks, Inc., Los Alamitos, CA, United States

Walt Mirczak, M.S., NovaWurks, Inc., Los Alamitos, CA, United States

NovaWurks, Inc., Los Alamitos, CA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2015 - March 2016; March 2016 - September 2016; September 2017 - February 2018

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NovaWurks Inc. pioneered Hyper-Integrated Satlet (HISat) technology a concept to assemble larger satellites from small independent “cells” called satlets.
  • NovaWurks HISats are independent and fully functional nanosatellites with their own propulsion, power, navigation, data processing, communications and payload accommodations.
  • HISats also have mechanical, electrical and data interfaces to easily support accommodation of third party payloads.
  • NanoRacks Kaber Mission 1-NovaWurks-Satlet Initial Proofs and Lessons (NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat) is a microsatellite technology demonstrator designed and built by NovaWurks Inc. to demonstrate innovative technology and is assembled by crew members and deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) using the NanoRacks Microsat Deployer.
  • The NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat demonstrates manual crew member assembly in microgravity of eight subassemblies utilizing minimal tools and simple mechanical and electrical connections.
  • The NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat mission proves the HISat technology on orbit, will reduce risk for follow on HISat-capable missions, and enables commercial utilization of the cellularized technology developed by NovaWurks Inc. for payloads utilizing either ISS or expendable launch vehicle (ELV) access to space.


NanoRacks Kaber Mission 1-NovaWurks-Satlet Initial Proofs and Lessons (NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat) is the on-orbit assembly and low-Earth orbit deployment demonstration of the NovaWurks Hyper-Integrated Satlet (HISat) system. The research utilizes a cargo vehicle flight to the International Space Station (ISS) with six HISats and supporting payloads manifested. To demonstrate their packaging efficiency in the pressurized area of the ISS cargo vehicle the HISats are packaged individually. The disassembled cargo vehicle configuration enables a demonstration of the ease of on-orbit HISat assembly into a microsatellite, also known as a PAC (Package of Aggregated Cells).
NovaWurks Inc. HISat Satlets are homogeneous, autonomous satellites complete with propulsion, communications, power, and attitude control systems. Each Satlet has approximate dimensions of 20 cm by 20 cm by 10 cm. Individual HISats have lockable connectors enabling them to be mechanically connected to form a larger configuration capable of sharing power, data, and thermal interfaces. NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat applies terrestrial WiFi technology and hardware to inter-satlet communications utilizing a multiple node mesh network architecture. Each HISat can accommodate external payloads using an interface adaptor. HISats provide an app-based, open-source approach to core resource-sharing cellular software that provides for simple user-created applications to coordinate their requisite payload and mission needs.

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Space Applications
This investigation demonstrates small satellite components that can be interconnected in dozens of ways to support varying missions. The satellite components, or Hyper-Integrated Satlets (HISat), are interchangeable, which provides backup support in case some parts fail. The satlets are autonomous and have their own propulsion, communications, power and control systems, and they have interlocking connectors that allow them to share resources and work together in larger configurations, supporting a variety of space-based research projects.

Earth Applications
Satellites built of many smaller parts can be used for a variety of missions that benefit research on Earth, including Earth observation, data transfer, ship and airplane monitoring, carbon dioxide monitoring, and more. Launching multiple smaller components and assembling them in space reduces the cost of launch, expanding access to low-Earth orbit. In addition, this investigation carries an amateur radio designed and built by students at the US Naval Academy, providing training in science, technology, engineering and math.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat mission requirements include crew resources for on-orbit assembly and pre-deployment logistics. Deployment is to occur as soon as possible after ISS reboost to maximize orbital lifetime. Video and photogrammetry services to characterize NanoRacks Microsat Deployer deployment kinematics and provide payload developer mission assurance feedback and ephemeris data at the time of deployment.

ISS crew assembly procedures have been prepared to guide the crew through proper and safe assembly of the NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat PAC. JEM airlock and MSS SPDM operations are governed by the standard operations in place for those resources. Following deployment by the NanoRacks Microsat Deployer, NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat flies an autonomous mission.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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A NovaWurks HISat. The HISat’s side solar cells, edge connectors, and rotatable carousel (top) are shown. Image courtesy of NovaWurks.

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A NovaWurks HISat, part of the NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat investigation packaged for commercial cargo vehicle launch to the ISS. Image courtesy of NovaWorks.

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NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat assembled for pre-ship testing. Solar arrays not attached. Image courtesy of NovaWurks.

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NanoRacks-NovaWurks-SIMPL-Micrsosat post ISS deployment configuration, solar arrays deployed. Image courtesy of NovaWurks.

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