GEOStar

Summary

The GEOStar is a family of satellite buses designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. The family started focused on small geostationary communications satellites. The first iterations focused on the sub-5 kW commercial segment that was left vacated after the retirement of the HS-376 satellite bus. It started with the STARBus on CTA Space Systems, which was later bought by Orbital Sciences, Orbital ATK and now Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.[1]

History

Originally developed by CTA Space Systems, won its first order with IndoStar-1.[2] Orbital Sciences Corporation acquired CTA in 1997 and continued selling the platform under the STAR-1 designation.[3] It was able to sell three STAR-1 satellites to B-SAT of Japan, BSAT-2a, BSAT-2b and BSAT-2c. Orbital then introduced a new version of the platform known as STAR-2. Its first launch was with the sale of the satellite bus only, with N-STAR c.[1]

With the introduction of the LEOStar satellite bus, STAR-2 was renamed as GEOStar-2, a platform that eventually was capable of up to 5.5 kW of power production.[4][5] Orbital would later introduce the GEOStar-1 platform, capable of only 1.5 kW of power production. It is not to be confused with the original STAR-1, since GEOStar-1 is actually the project Aquila, a platform even smaller than the GEOStar-2 designed for military applications in geostationary orbit and medium Earth orbit.[6]

On March 10, 2014, Orbital introduced the GEOStar-3 platform. Not only was this a bigger platform that could generate up to 8 kW of power, but it also offered a satellite stacking feature for a dual launch option.[7][8] On April 29, 2014, Orbital Sciences announced that it would merge with Alliant Techsystems to create a new company called Orbital ATK, Inc.. On February 9, 2015, Orbital ATK started operating as an entity.[9]

During 2015, Orbital ATK would introduce a variation of the bus dedicated to servicing spacecraft in geostationary orbit, the Gemini bus.[10] They would announce their first win for Gemini platform on April 12, 2016, with the agreement to sell the services of Mission Extension Vehicle-1 to Intelsat in 2019.[11]

Platforms

Through the years there have been different variations of the platform:

  • Gemini: platform designed for rendezvous capabilities. It can carry payloads with a mass of up to 1,700 kg (3,700 lb) and requiring up to 3 kW of power. Its expected design life is 6 to 15 years and has a 21 to 36 month to delivery lead time.[10]
  • GEOStar-1: micro platform for government satellite. It can carry payloads with a mass of up to 100 kg (220 lb) and requiring up to 1.5 kW of power. Its expected design life is 5 to 7 years and has a 27 to 30 month to delivery lead time.[6]
  • GEOStar-2 (originally STAR-2): small platform for commercial clients. It can carry payloads with a mass of up to 500 kg (1,100 lb) and requiring up to 5.5 kW of power. Its expected design life is 15 to 18 years and has a 24 to 27 month to delivery lead time.[5]
  • GEOStar-3: medium platform for commercial clients. It can carry payloads with a mass of up to 800 kg (1,800 lb) and requiring up to 8 kW of power. Its expected design life is 15 to 18 years and has a 27 to 30 month to delivery lead time.[8]
  • STAR-1 (originally STARBus): small commercial satellite platform. Originally developed by CTA, bought by Orbital Sciences Corporation. Could handle payloads with a mass of up to 200 kg (440 lb) and requiring up to 555 W of power. It used a solid Star 30CBP apogee kick motor for orbital circularization and had a 10-year design life.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Richmond, Christopher W. (2008). "The Growth of Orbital Sciences and the Market for Small GEO Satellites" (PDF). Space Japan Review (English version). AIAA JFSC (55). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  2. ^ "Orbital's Indostar Direct Broadcast Satellite Shipped To South American Launch Site". prnewswire.com. Orbital Sciences Corporation. August 21, 1997. Archived from the original on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  3. ^ "Orbital Completes Purchase of CTA Space Systems; Combined Manufacturing Experience On Over 85 Satellites Strengthens Market Position; New Corporate and Space Systems Group Management Appointments Announced". prnewswire.com. Orbital Sciences Corporation. August 18, 1997. Archived from the original on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  4. ^ "Spacecraft Buses". Orbital ATK. Archived from the original on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  5. ^ a b "GEOStar-2 Fact Sheet" (PDF). Orbital ATK. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  6. ^ a b "GEOStar-1 Fact Sheet" (PDF). Orbital ATK. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  7. ^ "Orbital Introduces the GEOStar-3 Commercial Communications Satellite Platform". Orbital ATK. March 10, 2014. Archived from the original on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  8. ^ a b "GEOStar-3 Fact Sheet" (PDF). Orbital ATK. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  9. ^ "Orbital ATK Marks First Day of Operations Following Completion of Merger". Orbital ATK. February 10, 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  10. ^ a b "Gemini Bus Fact Sheet" (PDF). Orbital ATK. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  11. ^ "Pioneers In Space: Orbital ATK Announces Intelsat as Anchor Customer for New Satellite Life Extension Service". Orbital ATK. April 12, 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  12. ^ Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2015-08-28). "OSC: StarBus → Star-1". Retrieved 2016-09-06.

External links

  • Orbital ATK