Picture credited by NASA.

On May 17th Tuesday, Millennium space system announced its ALTAIR pathfinder satellite, a complete year of successful on-orbit operations. The satellite has 10,000 hours of flight heritage. Previously it is planned as a six-month mission, and then it accomplished all planned goals and doubled its intended functional lifetime. 

The pathfinder ALTAIR has accomplished a series of operational and experimental objectives, in the year 2017. Its increasing ALTAIR designs from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 (breadboard testing) to TRL 9 (flight proved through successful mission operations).

ALTAIR software, data handling, RF communications, power, guidance, and control system are now available at TRL 9 for upcoming operational missions.

Millennium operates ALTAIR Pathfinder from a mission operations center (MOC) at the company’s factory in El Segundo, Calif. The on-site MOC gives Millennium a unique end-to-end capability, with engineering continuity from initial space system design through to in-orbit mission operations.

Griffith Russell, Millennium’s mission director said that Pathfinder has been an important satellite to operate. Operations have been widely automated and the ALTAIR has proven as resilient as a demonstration of the technology platform. By using Millennium on-site MOC, they can always work directly with the ALTAIR design engineers at the time of operations.  The mission of life has allowed them to explore the subsystem functional longevity and performance in advance of the upcoming mission. This mission uses the hardware and software of ALTAIR. 

Britt Christy, Millennium’s lead flight software engineer for ALTAIR Pathfinder said that the operational experience of this phase improves the assurance of the missions for the next wave of ALTAIR spacecraft. Pathfinder demonstrates about millennium that can quickly operate and produce reliable satellites meeting the demanding mission’s needs. 

This pathfinder supports ESPA- class and Half-ESPA missions with affordable and reliable space access. Pathfinder was packaged in a cubs standard for ease of launch and the millennium designed the ALTAIR software for an extensive range of high-quality performance of small satellite missions. ALTAIR offers enhanced mission assurance, reliability, communications bandwidth, and data storage capacity. Millennium is currently incorporating ALTAIR software into satellites ranging from few kilograms to hundred kilograms. The company is providing various ALTAIR satellite and it is scheduled to launch in fall of 2018. 

This is a data handling, software mission and now available for performing operational missions for future. ALTAIR designed by skilled engineers and it has unique capabilities.