After experiencing an anomaly during the PSLV-C45 mission, NanoAvionics has successfully established two-way communications with their satellites, “M6P” and “BlueWalker 1”, and confirms they are now orbiting in a healthy condition. The anomaly occurred after the delayed separation from the fourth stage of PSLV, which caused delays in the initial commissioning of “M6P” and “Blue Walker 1” and their incorrect orbits.
The reasons of the anomaly and potential impact for the missions are currently under investigation.
The telemetry data and information from NORAD indicates that both satellites were inserted into a lower orbit than it had been expected, due to currently unknown reasons which are under investigation. Delayed separation from the fourth stage of PSLV caused delays in the initial commissioning of “M6P” and “Blue Walker 1” and also slightly reduces the expected orbital lifetime of both satellites. Fortunately, the anomaly will not impact NanoAvionics customers’ missions or quality of communications.
M6P and Blue Walker 1 were launched from the India Space Research Organization’s Satish Dhawan Space Center on April 1 (03:57 UTC) with the PSLV-C45 launch vehicle, which rose to a 749-kilometer polar orbit and deployed the primary payload, the Indian government’s own EMISAT.
Eighty-three minutes later, the PSLV-C45 began deploying the remaining 28 small satellites, including M6P and Blue Walker 1.
NanoAvionics M6P is a ride-share mission which hosts payloads from two Internet of Things (IoT) communication companies. SpaceWorks Orbital and Lacuna Space are each developing satellite-based communication systems for a new generation of low-power IoT devices.
BlueWalker 1 is used for testing AST & Science patented technologies in space. The BlueWalker 1 is the first of three nano-satellites that AST & Science plans to deploy over the course of eighteen months. The two companies are partnering to take advantage of NanoAvionics’ best-in-class buses, power systems, and services for this and subsequent AST & Science missions.
The large payload volume of NanoAvionics M6P bus, up to 5U, can support small payloads from multiple customers. By sharing an M6P bus’s up to 5U payload volume, project teams can divert resources to other essential tasks. Also, the rideshare service relieves the burden of launch integration and logistics, frequency allocation, and satellite operation while it’s in orbit for NanoAvionics customers. The M6P bus‘s standardized hardware and software interfaces accelerate the satellite integration timeframe by several times as well as help to define an interface for payloads.