SpaceX delivers Blue Canyon built GNOMES-3 to orbit for PlanetiQ
(07 Apr 2022) Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, announced the successful launch of GNOMES-3, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 mission on 1 April.
GNOMES-3 is an ESPA-class microsat spacecraft bus, which Blue Canyon manufactured for PlanetiQ. BCT provided the microsatellite bus and Gen3 avionics for the rideshare mission. The programme uses an innovative way to help the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration refine weather models.
When GPS signals travel through the atmosphere, they are refracted like light bent through a lens. Looking at the refracted GPS signals, PlanetiQ can determine the density and moisture content of the atmosphere to improve weather predictions.
BCT's mission operations team made initial contact with the spacecraft just after launch and confirmed the spacecraft is healthy and operating nominally. Bus commissioning was rapid with 90% of functions completed within a day, and the payload powered on and operating nominally within four days of launch.
GNOMES-3 joins GNOMES-2 on-orbit and is expected to achieve cutting edge radio occultation measurements. Spacecraft operations will be performed at BCT's Mission Operations Center, which will be operating 15 spacecraft by the end of 2022. This launch is BCT's 33rd spacecraft to successfully operate on-orbit.
Reference: Blue Canyon Technologies PR