Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has added two new satellite platforms to the firm’s spacecraft offerings — the SN-200M satellite bus designed for MEO and the SN-1000 that offers increased payload capacity for MEO and other orbits.
The SN-200M variant specifically adapts SNC’s standard SN-200 bus for the MEO radiation environment. The SN-1000 is a demonstration platform based on the SN-200M bus flying an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA). Both satellites build on the flight heritage gained from the Air Force Demonstration and Science Experiment (DSX) program. Last June, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) launched DSX into MEO and it has been operating successfully on-orbit for the past year.
The SN-1000 platform can host one large payload or multiple payloads at the same time using a common bus to provide power, attitude control, communications and other standard functions. Its architecture evolved from SNC’s 250 kg SN-200M satellite used on DSX that included additional radiation shielding for the higher radiation environment in MEO, and large reaction wheels and torque rods for control of the ESPA ring with large payloads attached. DSX includes two large deployable booms of 80-meters and 16-meters.
“We are proud to be able to say SNC is in a small, select group of satellite suppliers who’ve delivered a proven MEO spacecraft,” said SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen, referring to the on-orbit success of DSX. “Our unique SN-1000 approach supports increased payload demonstrations or operational missions in any orbit.”
“The SN-200 bus was first proven as a standalone satellite bus with a standard payload capacity close to 250kg back in 2006 during the TacSat-2 mission,” said John Roth, VP of Business Development for SNC’s Space Systems. “With the addition of the of the ESPA Grande ring in the SN-1000 configuration, each port can hold 700-800kg of payload, greatly increasing capacity. The SN-200M can also be used alone as a standard bus hosting payloads in MEO.”