Lockheed's CubeSats Demos Capabilities for In-orbit Satellite Servicing

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 10:50 AM, April 19, 2023
  • 577
Lockheed's CubeSats Demos Capabilities for In-orbit Satellite Servicing
Lockheed Martin In-space Upgrade Satellite System (LM LINUSS™) (@Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin has announced that that its In-space Upgrade Satellite System (LM LINUSS™) has accomplished a successful on-orbit demonstration of capabilities of proximity maneuvers and on-orbit servicing techniques which are useful for sustaining critical space architectures.


LM LINUSS, a technology demonstration funded internally by Lockheed Martin, is made up of two LM 50™ 12U CubeSats. While on-orbit, the system demonstrated automated rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO), which enables precise maneuvering across multi-satellite constellations. This allows on-orbit servicing coordination and upgrades at scale in any orbit. 


During the demonstration, one of the LM LINUSS CubeSats acted as the designated servicing vehicle, navigating a flightpath towards the second CubeSat, which represented the resident space object (RSO). As the servicing vehicle approached the RSO, on-board guidance algorithms made final real-time adjustments to complete its rendezvous operations. 


In addition to RPO, the CubeSats also accomplished additional technology demonstrations while on-orbit. Several of these include:


1) Performing automated maneuvers and using artificial intelligence to fly coordinated flightpaths, supporting a variety of operational conditions.

Using Lockheed Martin's Horizon™ 2.0 command and control (C2) software and advanced RPO software.

2) Maintaining connection with a secure cloud-based architecture for mission telemetry, tracking and control.

Showcasing the company's advanced SmartSat™ software.

3)Demonstrating miniaturized Space Domain Awareness capabilities.

4)Validating new onboard high-performance processing, low-toxicity propulsion, inertial measurement units, machine vision, and 3D-printed components.

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