1st July, 2021
Neptuno, Deimos prototype satellite for a LEO cubesat constellation dedicated to maritime surveillance, was launched with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 on its second dedicated rideshare mission, Transporter-2, this Wednesday 30th June at 20:56 CEST.
The satellite was built using innovative technologies such as 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence, intelligent sensing and new materials such as ULTEM®, in DEIMOS facilities in Puertollano, Spain, becoming one of the first satellites in orbit which primary structure is fully manufactured in 3D printed thermoplastic.
The concept behind the experimental development of this LEO constellation prototype is to validate an advanced information system to process all the data acquired by several ground stations using artificial intelligence technologies. NEPTUNO’s intelligent system will be able to detect suspicious behaviour patterns, assigning dangerous profiles, using an automatic real-time monitoring system for alert detection of potentially criminal actions.
The EU-funded project also includes the development of the ground segment, with a prototype ground station for satellite operation and data downloading, and the command-and-control centre for data management, processing and distribution.
DHV technology and AEROUM also took part in the development of the project, which is supported by national security authorities of the Spanish Government as key users.
Neptuno Satellite is installed on a D-Orbit ION Space Tug. Separation of D-Orbit ION happened approx. one hour after launch, while the final Neptuno’s deployment is expected at least two weeks after, when ION reaches the mission target orbit.
This is the first satellite of DEIMOS completely dedicated to maritime surveillance and a first step towards the building of a constellation for services provision to maritime users and authorities.
This development was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), within the Smart Growth Operational Program 2014-2020 managed by CDTI, with the aim of promoting research, technological development and innovation. ESA is supporting the launch and early operations phase, up to the end of the commissioning phase, through its GSTP FLY Programme.
The Neptuno satellite being prepared for integration