HawkEye 360 Inc announced that its "Cluster 3" satellites have arrived at their Cape Canaveral launch site. The trio of HawkEye 360 second generation satellites, each containing an RF payload developed by HawkEye 360, is scheduled to launch as early as June aboard Spaceflight Inc's SXRS-5 mission.
Cluster 3 will join HawkEye 360's Cluster 2 and the Cluster 1 Pathfinder satellites on orbit, further expanding the company's baseline constellation. The newest satellites will significantly expand the current constellation's collection capacity and reduce revisit rates. Seven additional next-generation clusters — fully funded and scheduled for launch in 2021 and 2022 — will complete the baseline constellation, enabling revisit rates as rapid as 20 minutes to support time-sensitive defense, security and commercial applications.
"We are extremely pleased to be moving forward with this expansion of our industry-leading constellation, which will accelerate our application of valuable RF geospatial intelligence to a host of industries," said CEO John Serafini. "Cluster 2 has given us a strong indication of what these next-generation satellites can deliver, and we are eager to put Cluster 3 to work serving US government, international government, commercial and humanitarian interests."
Cluster 2, which launched in January, and Cluster 3 are significantly more powerful than the company's exploratory first cluster, the Pathfinder Cluster. Starting with Cluster 2, this new generation of satellites processes data at a faster rate and is equipped with improved software-defined radios (SDR) that can simultaneously collect a wide range of frequencies. The overall system is designed to produce faster, and more accurate geolocations. Additionally, Cluster 3 includes capabilities to perform on-orbit investigations which will help shape a roadmap for future feature additions.
"The preparation and launch of additional next-generation clusters is all about increasing the quantity, quality and timeliness of high-impact RF intelligence that we deliver to our customers," said HawkEye 360 Executive Vice President, Alex Fox. "Cluster 3 will be a marked improvement to the array of capabilities we are able to offer and will help us and our partners identify new RF intelligence applications to expand our products and services."
HawkEye 360's constellation detects, characterizes and precisely geolocates a broad set of RF signals from emitters such as VHF marine radios, UHF push-to-talk radios, maritime and land-based radar systems, L-band satellite devices and emergency beacons. The company processes and analyzes this RF data to deliver actionable insights and a unique layer of knowledge for national, tactical and homeland security operations, maritime domain awareness, environmental protection and a growing number of new applications, especially in the commercial sector.