NanoRacks-ALTAIR™ Pathfinder (NanoRacks-ALTAIRâ„¢ Pathfinder) - 07.19.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Groups of small satellites can improve access to space, because they are less costly and less risky to launch than larger individual satellites. The Millennium Space Systems NanoRacks-ALTAIR™ Pathfinder investigation tests and space qualifies new platform technologies developed by a private firm, Millennium Space Systems, (located in El Segundo, CA) that offers the satellites for missions in low-Earth orbit, geostationary orbit and deep space. The investigation demonstrates that the ALTAIR design and technologies can work as planned, paving the way for future satellite programs with NASA and the Department of Defense.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Griffith Russell, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Griffith Russell, M.S., Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Matthew Baker, M.S., Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Eric Drucker, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Jimmy Downs, M.S., Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Leonard Gibbs, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Britt Christy, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Kevin Teusch, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Emil Superfin, M.S., Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Nicholas Morello, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Nicholas Foltz, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Lee Wixtrom, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Jeremy Blaire, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Eric Hertz, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Ted Carancho, M.S., Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Alvin Garcia, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States
Younes Taleb, Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States

Developer(s)
Millennium Space Systems, Inc., El Segundo, CA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2016 - April 2017

Expeditions Assigned
49/50

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The ALTAIR Core spacecraft is being proposed for multiple Explorer and Earth Venture class efforts. The risks being retired are broad and critically include radiation flight environment exposures for electronics specifically selected and screened for space use.
  • The NanoRacks-ALTAIR™ Pathfinder demonstrates the on-orbit functionality of a new class of navigation sensors including low cost Star Tracker and Inertial reference units for attitude determination.
  • Demonstration of on board processing for next generation radios, computing and a new RF front end are key components of the investigation.

Description

Millennium Space Systems’ NanoRacks-ALTAIR™ Pathfinder spacecraft establishes flight heritage for the majority of the ALTAIR Core product line spacecraft design and for payload support technologies. ALTAIR is the next generation affordable resilient space platform for low-Earth orbit (LEO), Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) and deep space missions. The key ALTAIR Core hardware designs are demonstrated and flown in their objective design configurations to retire technical risks, increase Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) and gain flight heritage for future Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA space programs.
 
The NanoRacks launched ALTAIR™ Pathfinder spacecraft consists of subsystems which incorporate new technologies in direct support of needed capabilities. New elements for space usage in each subsystem are described. The Guidance, Navigation, and Control subsystem includes inertial reference units, star trackers, and conformal torque coils. The Command & Data Handling subsystem utilizes a new flight processor and level zero (no software) control. The Electrical Power Subsystem includes deployable solar arrays. The Structures subsystem uses an additively manufactured structure. The Thermal Control subsystem includes advanced passive thermal management technology. The RF Payload subsystem utilizes high performance front-end and on board processing.

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Applications

Space Applications
The ALTAIR class satellites enable a new class of space missions that are reliable and resilient, with tech refresh as a continuous process, providing dramatic performance increases at orders of magnitude less cost than traditional satellites. The spacecraft are designed to be built in large quantity production runs, using up screened ruggedized, mil-grade and commercial parts qualified for the intended mission and orbit. Through its ALTAIR initiative, Millennium Space provides a long needed capability to open the door for access to space for many types of customers, from the government to private institutions and companies.

Earth Applications
Smaller classes of satellites can work together or individually to provide unprecedented views of Earth for environmental monitoring, ship and aircraft tracking, and many other uses. This investigation demonstrates a new class of very low cost, high performance satellites that can serve a variety of functions that benefit people on Earth.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
NanoRacks satellites are delivered to the ISS already integrated within a NanoRacks Deployer (NRCSD). An International Space Station (ISS) crew member transfers each NRCSD from the launch vehicle to the JEM. Visual inspection for damage to each NRCSD is performed. When satellite deployment operations begin, the NRCSDs are unpacked, mounted on the JAXA Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) and placed on the JEM airlock slide table for transfer outside the ISS. A crew member operates the JEM Remote Manipulating System (JRMS) – to grapple and position for deployment. The satellites are deployed when JAXA ground controllers command a specific NRCSD.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Millennium Space Systems

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Imagery

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The unique configuration of the NanoRacks-ALTAIR™ Pathfinder spacecraft enables a stable test platform for establishing the reliability of ALTAIR avionics. Image courtesy of Millennium Space Systems.

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The compact stowed volume of the NanoRacks-ALTAIR™ Pathfinder permits the launch from the NanoRacks launcher on board the International Space Station. Image courtesy of Millennium Space Systems.

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