The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has built two small satellites for use in national security and space missions.
The cubesats were for APL’s multimission bus demonstration along with other satellites that launched into orbit aboard a Minotaur I rocket from Wallops Flight Facility, Va. as part of the U.S. Air Force’s ORS-3 mission, APL said Tuesday.
“There are applications for Defense Department agencies that want quick access to space, with durable satellites you can launch for a fraction of what it costs to launch larger spacecraft,” said Joe Suter, APL’s mission area executive for national security and space.
Each satellite is designed with built-in command and data handling, communications, navigation, power and payload systems.
The solar panels work to supply power, reflect the satellite’s antennas and align the spacecraft through the magnetic field from the internal coils, APL says.