- Satellite Evolution
Momentus signs contract with Australian Research Centre to place satellite in orbit
Momentus Inc., a US commercial space company that offers transportation and other in-space infrastructure services, has signed a contract with the CUAVA Training Centre at the University of Sydney to deploy the CUAVA-2 CubeSat in low-Earth orbit in October 2023.
CUAVA is the Australian Research Council Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles, and their Applications. CUAVA is a partnership centered at the University of Sydney that aims to fundamentally change the capabilities and applications of CubeSats to create major commercial value with wide applications.
“Momentus is proud to partner with CUAVA, a leading Australian research center,” said Momentus Chief Executive Officer John Rood. “Innovation and pushing the boundaries of technology is what we love to do at Momentus. We look forward to supporting CUAVA’s mission to use leading-edge capabilities in space to improve life on Earth.”
CUAVA-2 is a 6U CubeSat with two primary payloads: (1) a Hyperspectral Imager developed by the Space Photonics group (SAIL) in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney to demonstrate a novel imager and provide high-resolution spatial and spectral data for applications across agriculture and forestry, coastal and marine environments, urban areas, water hazards and mineral exploration; and (2) a GPS Reflectometry payload developed by the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at the University of New South Wales. CUAVA-2 will be the second satellite to be launched by CUAVA, targeted for deployment from a Momentus Vigoride Orbital Service Vehicle that will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
CUAVA-2 also carries multiple secondary payloads and technology demonstrations, including the Charge Exchange Thruster (CXT), the wide field-of-view CROSS star tracker, the Electron Density and Debris Instrument (EDDI), the Electro Permanent Magnetorquer, the Perovskites in Orbit Test (Port) payload of advanced solar cells, and a Radiation Counter and Data over Power-bus payload. These payloads were developed at the University of Sydney.
“The CUAVA-2 CubeSat is the culmination of several years of hard work by the satellite team and our partners,” said CUAVA Director Professor Iver Cairns. “We are looking forward with great excitement to the launch with Momentus, and to gathering unique data from the many advanced payloads and technology demonstrators on CUAVA-2 once in orbit.”