First Commercial Satellite with Microwave Radiometer & 3D-Printed Antenna

Small-sat instrumentation and earth data-intelligence solutions expert, Orbital Micro Systems (OMS), has launched the first satellite IOD-1 in its Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) constellation. With this launch, the company has achieved a significant milestone of contributing the first commercial microwave radiometer and the first 3D-printed antenna for space use to the mission.

OMS’ IOD-1 GEMS satellite was launched aboard the International Space Station resupply mission NG-11 from NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, on April 17. The mission is part of the In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) Program, funded by Innovate UK and managed by the Satellite Applications Catapult. According to OMS CEO, William Hosack, with this launch and through the support and collaboration with Satellite Applications Catapult and other IOD team members, OMS is now positioned to be a market leader in gathering and delivering actionable comprehensive, accurate, and frequent weather data.

The OMS satellite, after deployment, will gather and transmit atmospheric observation data which will be aligned and integrated with other atmospheric and weather datasets at OMS’ International Center for Earth Data (ICED) in Edinburgh. The IOD-1 GEMS is the first of a planned constellation comprising 48 CubeSats that will dramatically improve the temporal frequency of global microwave radiation observations from hours—and even days—to intervals approaching 15 minutes. OMS anticipates launching six additional GEMS satellites during the first months of 2020.

Data collected by the GEMS constellation will be available to commercial, government, and research subscribers from ICED, which aggregates and processes weather information from multiple sources, and provides easily consumable information to its subscribers, sometimes within minutes of collection. The data produced from ICED will have a tangible impact on the lives of millions of people in all areas of the world. This includes improved crop management in the world’s farming communities, safer route planning in the aviation and maritime industries, and better catastrophe risk management in areas where natural disasters are prevalent.