Turion Space and NanoAvionics to build a satellite for orbital reconnaissance missions

Press releases
  • 2022-02-02

US company Turion Space, aiming to build spacecraft to remove orbital-debris, satellite servicing, and domain awareness, has selected NanoAvionics small satellite bus, the MP42, as the basis for its ‘Droid-1’ spacecraft designed for a reconnaissance mission in low Earth orbit (LEO). The launch of the Droid-1 satellite is planned for the first quarter of 2023.

Using its onboard sensors, Turion Space’s satellite will be able to take extremely accurate measurements of spacecraft and objects in orbit. The data will give operators and users the exact location of their satellites and in relation to others, especially at crucial times when two spacecraft are critically close.

Future generations of Droid spacecraft are also aimed at removing orbital debris in LEO and tackling the complex logistics of in-orbit satellite servicing, providing orbit-modification and inspection. 

Ryan Westerdahl, CEO and co-founder of Turion Space, and a former SpaceX employee, said: “The exponential growth of spacecraft and launch vehicles entering Earth’s orbits has dramatically increased the risk of collisions. Even a small number of these conjunctions can endanger a sustainable space environment. We are developing the technology to stabilize this threat. Domain awareness followed by removing space debris and satellite servicing is one of the fundamental priorities for the entire industry.”

F. Brent Abbott, CEO NanoAvionics US, said: “NanoAvionics is becoming the go-to partner for NewSpace companies in the US, because of our cost-efficient technology, and our expertise as a smallsat integrator and mission expert. We collaborate with and advise our customers right from the very early phases of their development.

F.Brent Abbott – CEO, NanoAvionics US

“The removal of space debris is an important issue for all space companies and Turion Space’s Droid-1 mission is a first step in their plans to solve it. At NanoAvionics, we also practice proper passive and active de-orbit strategies to do our part to keep our space resources clean and open.”

The advantage for using a satellite, such as Turion Space’s Droid-1, over ground systems such as radars and telescopes to get domain awareness data is precise measurements. Ground systems cannot correctly differentiate between closely spaced objects. At least not accurately enough to provide precise measurements. They are also unavailable during bad weather and require geographic accessibility. The Droid spacecraft is not limited by these factors.

About NanoAvionics:

NanoAvionics is a smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator currently based in four locations across the USA, UK and Lithuania. The company’s efforts are focused on enabling critical satellite functions and optimising their hardware, launch and satellite operation costs by providing end-to-end small satellite solutions – ranging from single missions to constellations. Its core engineering team has implemented over 90 successful satellite missions and commercial projects during the past several years. With a modularity such as the fundamental principle of NanoAvionics systems’ architecture, NanoAvionics provides economic viability to a wide range of small satellite constellation-based missions, businesses and organizations worldwide.
www.nanovionics.com | Twitter: https://twitter.com/NanoAvionics

About Turion Space:

Turion Space is a new space startup (and recent participant in the summer 2021 Y-Combinator accelerator batch) building spacecraft to remove orbital debris and provide orbit-modification, inspection, and domain-awareness services for operational space assets. Turion Space believes that the space debris problem must be addressed to ensure a sustainable LEO economy and is the first technological step towards Asteroid resource extraction. Turion Space plans to launch its droid.001 satellite in Q1 2023.
https://turionspace.com/ | Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/TurionSpace