Lockheed Shares Satellite Connectivity Options

In an unusual turn of events, Lockheed Martin has released technical “payload accommodation information” for three of their satellite busses. In layperson’s terms, if you wanted to build a satellite and weren’t sure what guidelines to follow these documents may help you learn if Lockheed Martin has a platform to help you build it.

An opportunity to check out once-confidential information about satellites sounds like a perfect excuse to dig through some juicy documentation, though unfortunately this may not be the bonanza of technical tidbits the Hackaday reader is looking for. Past the slick diagrams of typical satellites in rocket fairings, the three documents in question primarily provide broad guidance. There are notes about maximum power ratings, mass and volume guidelines, available orbits, and the like. Communication bus options are varied; there aren’t 1000BASE-T Ethernet drops but multiply redundant MIL-STD-1553B might come standard, plus telemetry options for analog, serial, and other data sources up to 100 Mbps. Somewhat more usual (compared to your average PIC32 datasheet) are specifications for radiation shielding and it’s effectiveness.

In the press release EVP [Rick Ambrose] says “we’re sharing details about the kinds of payloads we can fly…” and that’s exactly what these documents give us. Physical ballpark and general guidelines about what general types of thing Lockheed has capability to build launch. Hopefully the spirit of openness will lead to the hoped-for increase in space utilization.

If you take Lockheed up on their offer of satellite development, don’t forget to drop us a tip!

[Via the Washington Post]

12 thoughts on “Lockheed Shares Satellite Connectivity Options

  1. It’s interesting to see the old-school players trying to react to companies like SpaceX fundamentally changing the space game.

    With the cheap (relatively) and regular access to LEO offered by a reusable Falcon 9, there’s going to be more satellites going into orbit that any time in human history. If Lockheed wants a piece of that pie, they need to make it as easy as possible to use one of their spacecraft buses.

    1. But what they changed (so fundamentally)? Arianespace have started back in 80. Soyuz, Ariane 5 and other rockets documentation was available, now u can download PDF from internet. Not to mention that Soyuz launch price is comparable to Falcon 9.

  2. If you’re expecting much in terms of these released Launch Accommodation Specifications, don’t. What you’ll get is a really dumbed-down “brochure” about the bare minimums. But that’s OK, it’s better than nothing :-)

  3. I believe that I’ve seen Arianne (ESA) payload guidelines few years ago. This is not entirely news for the rest of the world. This type of data is closed source only in US I guess

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