Carbonite-1 continues its mission 2 years on from launch



Following its announcement of plans for a large constellation of Earth Observation satellites Earth-i celebrates the continued mission of Carbonite1, the technology demonstrator for the next generation of small optical satellites that will form the Earth-i Constellation. Earth-i’s demonstrator satellite EiX2, to be built by partner Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), will be based on the Carbonite-1 demonstrator and its mission.

Carbonite-1 is a small Earth Observation satellite which was completed under a rapid design, build and test schedule by SSTL in just 6 months and 12 days.  The COTS telescope was adapted for a space environment and integrated into a specially designed framework.  The imaging system is designed to provide 1m GSD images and 15 second HD video clips optimised for an orbit of 500km, a little lower than the 650km orbit into which Carbonite-1 was launched as a secondary payload.

SSTL’s Carbonite-1 mission was designed to demonstrate proof-of-concept for a low cost video and imaging constellation of satellites with high speed X-band downlink, orbiting at 500km.  The optical data is particularly suitable for 3-D modelling applications and the video imagery captured by the Carbonite-1 missions is highly suitable for a wide range of evolving applications in planetary big data analytics and insights.