NASA has tapped NanoAvionics to create a 12U nanosatellite bus that will work to support the in-orbit test of the Advanced Composite Solar Sail System.
The company said Wednesday it will provide a FlatSat model and a testbed unit to allow Ames Research Center to conduct mechanical and payload integration tests remotely.
NanoAvionics will also field a team of engineers to support the operations, tests and integration of the satellite as part of the agreement.
Brent Abbott, CEO at NanoAvionics“™ North America segment, said the demonstration marks NASA’s initial in-orbit test for the solar sail’s deployment systems and composite booms.
“It will guide the development of a next-generation nanosatellites with solar sail propulsion system for small interplanetary spacecraft,“ Abbott added.
The demonstration is a part of a contract between NASA and AST & Science to ferry cargo into low-Earth orbit. AST secured a controlling interest in NanoAvionics in 2018 in efforts to expand production capacities within the U.S. and Europe.