Lockheed Martin has announced its first smart satellite, Pony Express 1, launched on Thursday. The upgraded satellite has integrated technology that will allow the company to conduct more thorough tests in-orbit. Lockheed Martin has launched the satellite aboard the Tyvak 6U spacecraft.
“Early on-orbit data show Pony Express 1 is performing its important pathfinding mission very well. Lockheed Martin’s HiveStar technology on board will give our customers unparalleled speed, resiliency and flexibility for their changing mission needs by unlocking even greater processing power in space,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space and four time Wash100 Award recipient.
Pony Express 1 was developed, built and integrated in nine months, and was funded completely by Lockheed Martin Research and Development funding. Lockheed Martin has incorporated artificial intelligence, data analytics, cloud networking and advanced satellite communications in a robust new software-defined architecture, introducing a new initiative in space exploration: space-based computing.
The company has added three new technologies, including HiveStar, software-defined radio and 3D-printed wideband antenna housing, developed by Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Research Technology Center. Hivestar will use adaptive mesh to communicate between satellites, shared processing capabilities and customize missions in new ways previously difficult to achieve in space.
Additionally, the software will allow high-bandwidth hosting of multiple RF applications, store-and-forward RF collection, data compression, digital signal processing and waveform transmission. The 3D-printed wideband antenna housing.
Lockheed Martin will continue space research in the future. The company’s plan for Pony Express 2, will further advance cloud networking concepts among satellites and validate Lockheed Martin’s SmartSat software-defined satellite architecture, which will allow a streamlined hosting of flexible mission apps.
“This is the first of several rapid, self-funded experiments demonstrating our ability to systematically accelerate our customers’ speed to mission while reducing risk from new technologies,” Ambrose added.
Lockheed Martin has also shipped its third JCSAT-17 satellite to French Guiana for launch on an Ariane V rocket, the company announced on Jan. 15, 2019. The satellite will provide flexible mobile communication services to Japan and the surrounding region.
Lockheed Martin has added a reprogrammable mission processor to the LM 2100 base, which will add flexibility as mission needs change. The satellite has incorporated s-band and C-band transponders and an 18m mesh reflector, assuring continuous communication during high-volume events.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.