Slingshot 1 reaches orbit on mission to demonstrate modular payload architecture

Slingshot 1 reaches orbit on mission to demonstrate modular payload architecture

Press release from: Aerospace company
Posted: Saturday July 2nd 2022

Slingshot 1 is a 12-unit, shoebox-sized CubeSat that accelerates the development of modular, self-contained technologies by harnessing the potential of open standards and non-proprietary interfaces to simplify and accelerate development and integration payload.

“We are seeing unprecedented growth in the space industry as a whole, driven by an unprecedented need for new space capabilities,” said Steve Isakowitz, Aerospace President and CEO. “Modular and self-contained technologies enable the agility and speed needed to leverage these latest innovations and deliver resilient systems in accelerated timeframes. Slingshot’s modular platform is a critical step toward advancing and testing these important technologies that pave the way for future development.

Slingshot 1 hosts 19 payloads: 16 were developed by Aerospace, including Vertigo, a reconfigurable attitude control system that allows satellites to find targets on Earth; Blinker, a GPS transponder for space traffic management; HyPer, a high performance hydrogen peroxide propellant for small satellites; and LaserComm, a next-generation space-to-ground laser communication downlink.

“Customization has traditionally played a major role in payload development and turnaround time,” said Hannah Weiher, Engineering Manager at Aerospace’s iLab and Slingshot Program Manager. “With Slingshot, payloads meet a baseline standard where they can plug in and work even if they’re behind the development schedule.”

Handle, Slingshot 1’s key payload, quickly integrates payloads through a standard interface and works to accelerate the satellite’s development schedule. Similar to a USB port, the payload uses “plug and play” technology, allowing other payloads to communicate efficiently with the host satellite bus.

Additionally, Handle contains SatCat5, an Ethernet switch, which enables communication between payloads using commercial tools and open source code from the vast Ethernet ecosystem. SatCat5 supports both high-speed and low-speed data rates, allowing most devices to participate in the same local communication network.

Integrating these payloads through a standard interface allows a wide range of technologies to connect with greater flexibility and adaptability.

About the Aerospace Company

The Aerospace Corporation is a national, not-for-profit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has more than 4,500 employees. With major locations in El Segundo, CA; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and the Washington, DC region, Aerospace addresses complex issues in the space enterprise and other areas of national and international importance through agility, innovation, and objective technical leadership. For more information, visit www.aerospace.org. Follow us on Twitter: @AerospaceCorp.

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