Test Stand Progress

We've been hard at work on the mobile test stand the past few weeks. The thrust structure was just completed and will be capable of accommodating engines with thrusts of up to 60kN.

Engine test stand

Our propellants tanks will be going through hydrostatic testing over the coming week, and all the fluid and control system components are currently being readied. We did a test fit of the engine mount today before plumbing work commences and it proceeded smoothly.

Mobile engine test stand

#spacetalk with NewSpace NYC, 3/30/18

We presented at NewSpace NYC on March 30th! We gathered at The Yard in Brooklyn where we discussed nanolaunchers, the space economy, and how to mass-produce rockets in the current launch market, amongst many other things! We also showcased our Cubesat products and components for our brand new 9.5kN rocket engine.

Check out our presentation below!

Expansion and Steady Progress

We’ve been busy at the Aphelion R&D facility lately and making steady progress on our Trailblazer vehicle! Engine development has been coming together very well and the composite chamber is currently being manufactured. The test facility, which will accommodate engines up to 30kN in thrust (for our orbital launch vehicle), is now under constructions and parts for it are coming over the next few weeks. Last but not least, we’ve invested a lot of time into our green hypergolic propellant production facility which will enable us to test and fly with minimal turnaround time. As things stand, we will be having our first test of the 9.5kN main engine in March.

Meanwhile, two new products for our Cubesat line will be released this month. We have also been putting the EPS and OBC software through their paces, so we will be able to officially start selling the Cubesat bus very soon.

Finally, our facility expansion is on the way! This for the time being will enable us to produce and launch Trailblazer vehicles multiple times a year.

Nanosatellite Store is Live! is live! We now carry in stock a selection of 1U Cubesat structures and triple junction solar arrays and offer 2U/3U/customized solar panels with a 4 week lead time depending on configuration. These products have been rigorously tested in thermal vacuum and vibration environments. We strongly suggest mission planners and designers to check them out as they are currently being offered at a highly discounted price.

These products are a small glimpse of what is to come in our Cassiopeia Cubesat ecosystem. The core monolithic EPS/OBC module will be made available in the coming weeks with a complete flight software solution. We are also developing software and drivers for our ADCS and communication modules, which are to be released in the next few months. Stay tuned for more!

Nanosatellite solar panels

Today a new batch of triple-junction solar cells arrived at our facility, the first set of which will be flown on ARES Institute's Calypso Cubesat. These flight-proven assemblies from CASC have previously seen in-orbit use on the SCD-2A and CBERS missions. 

A number of small, custom-packaged cells are also being tested for their use on femtosatellite missions.

Aphelion is committed to producing innovative power solution for our customers. In addition to the introduction of these new cells to the domestic market, our research in ultra low powered systems and energy harvesting techniques will bring new breakthroughs in nanosatellite technology. 

Non-coherent Free Space Optical Communication

Optical communication methods are able to provide high data rates but are generally limited in use on microsatellites due to their requirements for either a beam steering device or advanced ADCS. Aphelion is developing a new communication method using high powered, directional non-coherent light to produce self-contained systems with minimal space and pointing requirements. A prototype unit was recently demonstrated with multiple-LED complex modulation on the ground. The unit was able to achieve much higher wall-plug efficiency than laser-based units, and opens up new paths for advanced spatial modulation techniques.