Space Newsfeed

SMi Military Space Situational Awareness 2020  Satellite Communications Technology

World’s first 1U Attitude and Orbit Control System, HiberDrive, hits the global CubeSat market

(31 July 2019 - Hyperion Technologies) Backed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Netherlands Space Office via the ARTES programme, HiberDrive brings capabilities to CubeSats, previously accessible only to large satellites.

HiberDrive is a brand new Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) miniaturized to 1U for the global CubeSat market. Hyperion’s experience in components for attitude determination and attitude control has been combined with Dawn Aerospace’s high performance green bi-propellant propulsion module. Linked with Hiber’s automated constellation management software, creates this world-first.

“As many smallsat constellations target services related to telecommunications, IoT, asset or frequency monitoring, ESA Telecommunications welcomes the development of HiberDrive”, said Frank Zeppenfeldt, Technical Project Manager at ESA. “This AOCS takes into account emerging regulations related to smallsat deployments and responsible use of orbital resources.”

“Being a responsible operator, constellation longevity with minimal impact on the space environment is extremely important for us,” said Erik Wienk, Hiber COO. “The new HiberDrive means we can easily avoid space debris, increase CubeSat lifetime by raising orbit and perform complex orbital maneuvers with low power usage, whilst keeping our constellation online and guaranteeing high customer service levels.”

Space debris is becoming a serious issue. With more than 250,000 pieces under 2cm currently untracked in low Earth orbit, risk of the Kessler syndrome is very real. By using high performance green bi-propellant propulsion, Hiber now have complete control of their satellite’s end-of-life, de-orbiting and burning up CubeSats in Earth’s atmosphere when they choose.

“The total size of the integrated AOCS has been brought down to 1U. It is revolutionary to the CubeSat market”, said Maarten Engelen, Hiber CTO. “There are alternatives out there, but nothing that suit a 3U CubeSat like this”.

By choosing 3U form factor satellites, Hiber’s launch costs have halved. These savings allow Hiber to create a larger, faster, cheaper IoT network – passing benefits and savings back to customers.

The HiberDrive was developed in partnership with Hyperion Technologies and Dawn Aerospace for Hiber’s next generation low power 3U small satellite IoT constellation.

The Hiber constellation will come online much faster and with much more capabilities than any other small satellite constellation. The use of high performance green bi-propellant propulsion and miniaturized components has been key.

“We were lucky that we found good partners with Hyperion Technologies and Dawn Aerospace, who managed to bring down the total size of the integrated AOCS module, down to 1U.” said Maarten.

“We believe the payload should dominate a satellite. Our miniaturized components give capabilities to nano satellites that the market has never seen before.” said Bert Monna, Hyperion CEO. “This allows customers like Hiber to make maximum use of the available volume for their payload, and to build a fully functional small satellite.” Similarly, Dawn’s green bi-propellent propulsion system offers thrust ~1,000x higher than electric propulsion-based systems for CubeSats.

“We believe the payload should dominate a satellite, and we focus our business on this,” said Bert Monna, Hyperion CEO. “Miniaturized components that deliver high performance like miniaturized reaction wheels, sun sensors and magnetorquers, give capabilities to nano satellites that the market has never seen before.” Similarly, Dawn’s green bi-propellent propulsion system offers thrust ~1,000x higher than electric propulsion based systems for CubeSats.

Although developed for Hiber’s low power IoT SmallSat constellation, HiberDrive is being opened up for use in other small satellite constellations.

About Hiber

Hiber is an Amsterdam based start-up founded in 2016 to provide global low cost / low power IoT connectivity. The company at present has a total team of 35. The company launched their first two satellites end of 2018 and is currently in the demonstration and validation phase. In parallel Hiber is working on the development of the second generation of the Hiber constellation.

About Hyperion Technologies

Hyperion Technologies is an independent Dutch space company located in Delft, Netherlands. Having been active since 2013, it specialises in the development of miniaturized, high-performance and smart components for small satellites as well as satellite platforms for complete missions. This includes both hardware and software. Hyperion follows the philosophy to provide the best-in-class products to its clients worldwide, scratching at the limits of the physically possible within the scope of miniaturisation.

About Dawn Aerospace

Located in Delft, Netherlands and Christchurch, New Zealand, Dawn Aerospace designs, engineers, manufactures and integrates high performance green bi-propellant propulsion modules, thrusters and engines for CubeSats, large satellites and spacecraft. The company is in development of a new reusable space plane for small satellite launches, with bookings for scientific research now available on their Mk-II sub-orbital vehicle.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.