A consortium created by local space industry stakeholders will build three nanosatellites which are going to be operated by country’s armed services and deployed into orbit in 2024 under the recently established Polish Imaging Satellites (PIAST) project. Creotech Instruments, Poland’s top privately-owned space industry participant, was commissioned as part of the consortium to develop the three nanosats in collaboration with the project’s leader, Poland’s Military University of Technology (WAT). Poland’s Armed Forces will be equipped with the Earth observation constellation suitable for gathering imagery with a resolution of about 5 meters thanks to PIAST.
The three nanosats will be built on Creotech Instruments’ flagship HyperSat standard, that was originally created for microsatellite market with spacecraft weighing between 10 and 120 kg in mind, according to Grzegorz Brona, chairman of the board.
“We started developing this platform in 2017, and it now has a technology preparedness level of 6 to 7.”. HyperSat, which is based on the SpaceVPX standard, provides a variety of safety features. It assures full resonance and is highly adaptable and comfortable in regards to fitting satellites with electronics,” Brona stated. According to the executive, Creotech Instruments began work on the PIAST initiative in June, and further information on the initiative’s technical features will be released once the consortium accomplishes its mission definition assessment this autumn.
“A procedure to outsource launch services for all these nanosatellites might begin later this year once this review is done and Military University of Technology determines an orbit for PIAST.” According to Brona, the deployment will most probably occur in the second part of 2024. The three spacecraft, each weighing ten kilograms, will be the inaugural satellites controlled by the Polish military.
The project is valued upwards of $18 million (70 million Polish zloty), of which Creotech Instruments will receive around 40 percent to fund its portion of the work. The National Center for Research and Development, which is a state-run organization that funds a wide range of research and development projects in Poland with funds obtained from the European Union and the Polish budget, is funding the PIAST initiative.
“The HyperSat platform ensures perfect collaboration with both chemical propulsion programs, like those used in PIAST nanosatellites, as well as ion thrusters, such as those employed in our second satellite venture, EagleEye,” he stated. The EagleEye microsatellite is expected to launch in 2023, and talks with potential launch service providers are currently underway.
Other participants in PIAST project include Poland’s leading state-possessed defense firm, Polish Defence Group, a private space industry firm Scanway, the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and Poland’s ukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation, in addition to the Creotech Instruments as well as the WAT.