BAE Systems to Launch its First Multi Sensor Satellite Cluster

BAE Systems to Launch its First Multi Sensor Satellite Cluster

BAE Systems is set to launch its first multi-sensor satellite cluster into low Earth orbit in 2024 to deliver high-quality information and intelligence in real time from space to military customers. Known as Azalea, the group of satellites will use a range of sensors to collect visual, radar, and radio frequency (RF) data, which will be analyzed by onboard machine learning on edge processors to deliver the resulting intelligence securely, anywhere in the world while still in orbit.

Following the acquisition of In-Space Missions last year, BAE Systems is one of a small number of British companies with the capability to design, build, launch and operate satellites. The expertise brought by In-Space Missions complements the Company’s existing advanced technologies and will become an integral part of its multi-domain capability. Azalea will also boost the UK’s ability to understand the threats and hazards in, from, and through space.

The Azalea cluster will deliver timely, actionable intelligence, essential for military operations and disaster response. Comprising four highly resilient satellites which, together, are capable of gathering, analyzing, and communicating Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), optical, and RF signals. Unlike conventional, single-purpose satellites, the cluster can be fully reconfigured whilst in orbit in the same way a smartphone installs a new app; this ensures it can deliver future customer missions and expands the lifecycle of the satellites.

The program supports the UK Government’s Defence Space Strategy, published earlier this year, which named Earth observation as a priority area to help protect and defend UK interests, a sovereign capability that Azalea could provide.

BAE Systems is working with Finnish firm, ICEYE, to combine its own expertise in sensor technology with ICEYE’s advanced SAR technology to be included in the cluster. SAR provides high-resolution imagery of the Earth’s surface, day or night, and in any weather conditions. This persistent monitoring makes it easier to detect instant physical changes, such as the movement of hostile ships or aircraft, or the location of people at risk during natural disasters, such as floods and forest fires.

Existing space-based sensors require multiple terabytes of data to be transferred to Earth before being processed and distributed. The traditional transfer process can take many hours and is reliant on intermittent RF links and the availability of suitable ground stations. The Azalea system saves valuable time by combining and analyzing data in space. It will be able to identify activities of interest and directly communicate with users on the ground within moments of detection – securely delivering assured data, in a useful timeframe, directly to the hands of decision-makers.

Dave Armstrong, Group Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Digital Intelligence business said: “The Azalea satellite cluster will process data in space to provide swathes of digital intelligence wherever it’s needed. We understand how important space-based intelligence is to every domain, whether that’s informing strategic command, alerting an in-area warship, or providing real-time intelligence to forces on the ground.  The launch of Azalea in 2024 will be a major step forward for the UK’s sovereign space capability.

Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-founder of ICEYE, added: "ICEYE helps to solve problems using data. There is a clear advantage for governments and organizations to receive accurate information when they need it, regardless of weather conditions – this is what ICEYE brings. By combining our SAR technology with the security expertise of BAE Systems and the other data sources in the cluster, we can help decision-makers make the right choice at the right time.”

Doug Liddle, Chief Executive and co-founder of In-Space Missions, said: “We’re working together to create a step-change in military intelligence and capabilities. Our technology will monitor adversaries, but will also provide substantial civil benefits by helping humanitarian response missions.”

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Publisher: SatNow
Tags:-  Satellite

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations

beidou

Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019

galileo

Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017

glonass

Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018

gps

Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014

irnss

Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013