In this project, Craft Prospect supported the Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC) in raising the operational readiness of its ground segment for the In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) program. The focus was in particular on the first IOD mission, the 3U CubeSat IOD-1 (a global environmental monitoring mission), since this mission provides a baseline for all future In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) missions, including Craft Prospect’s own IOD-6 CubeSat space mission. The IOD missions pave the way for new missions to deliver weather data to a wide variety of markets, ranging from insurance, aerospace, maritime, energy to agriculture, demonstrating the way space adds value to society across a wide range of market sectors.

Craft Prospect defined specific operating procedures for all phases of the mission and tested them on the Satellite Applications Catapult’s NANOBED test bench prior to live use. 

IOD-1 was carried to the International Space Station (ISS) in the Cygnus spacecraft (the CRS-11/NG-11 supply mission), launched on an Antares 230 Rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Range Spaceport in Virginia, USA on the 17th of April, 2019. The IOD-1 spacecraft was deployed from the ISS on July the 3rd, 2019, with Craft Prospect in attendance at the Satellite Applications Catapult to provide early operations support for IOD-1.

The IOD-1 mission has since been a huge success for Orbital Micro Systems (OMS), with a significant amount of data captured by the MiniRAD miniaturised passive microwave radiometer instrument, leading to new insights in global temperature models, which will be invaluable for scientists involved in researching the effects of climate change.

NANOBED, is a collaborative project whose development was led by the University of Strathclyde, working with Clyde Space & Bright Ascension, to develop a tool for research, innovation, and technology development. NANOBED enables rapid end-to end CubeSat mission design and technology development up to TRL6, where a system or subsystem is tested and validated in a simulated environment.