Military Embedded Systems

RF satellite cluster to better enable data processing


June 07, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

HawkEye 360 image.

HERNDON, Va. HawkEye 360 Inc. announced that its Cluster 3 satellites have arrived at their Cape Canaveral launch site. The trio of HawkEye 360 second-generation satellites, each containing a radio frequency (RF) payload developed by HawkEye 360, is scheduled to launch as early as June aboard Spaceflight Inc.'s SXRS-5 mission.

According to officials, Cluster 3 will join HawkEye 360's Cluster 2 and the Cluster 1 Pathfinder satellites on orbit, aiming to further expand the company's baseline constellation. The newest satellites are intended to expand the current constellation's collection capacity and reduce revisit rates.

The company also claims that seven additional next-generation clusters — fully funded and scheduled for launch in 2021 and 2022 — will complete the baseline constellation, aiming to enable revisit rates as rapid as 20 minutes to support time-sensitive defense, security, and commercial applications.

Cluster 2, which launched in January, and Cluster 3 are designed to be more powerful than the company's exploratory first cluster, the Pathfinder Cluster. Starting with Cluster 2, this new generation of satellites are engineered to process data at a faster rate and are equipped with improved software-defined radios (SDR) that can collect a range of frequencies. 


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