BOULDER, Colorado –June 30, 2016 – In its first ever flight, the XACT attitude control system from Blue
Canyon Technologies (BCT) is providing high-performance guidance, navigation, and control to the
orbiting Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) spacecraft.
A 3U CubeSat funded by NASA and led by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and
Space Physics, MinXSS requires precision pointing to carry out its scientific objectives. Integrating an
array of high-performance miniaturized space sensors and actuators, including BCT’s Nano Star Tracker
and Micro Reaction Wheels, the XACT unit provides state-of-the-art attitude control for small spacecraftlike MinXSS. On-orbit telemetry from both the XACT unit and independent spacecraft instrumentation indicates 1-sigma cross-axis pointing error better than 8 arcseconds, which is less than the width of the Empire State Building as viewed from Los Angeles.
MinXSS was deployed from the International Space Station on May 16, and is designed to collect soft Xray emissions from the sun that will help scientists better understand space weather in which solar storms impact our space-based technology such as communication and navigation systems.
The mission exemplifies the increasing capability of low-cost CubeSat missions, which have proliferated as the enabling technology has developed. In the coming years BCT’s XACT attitude control system and XB-1 spacecraft bus are slated for dozens of flights in support of a wide array of scientific, commercial, and defense missions.
About Blue Canyon Technologies
Blue Canyon Technologies, Inc. is a privately-held business founded in 2008 to bring high-performance,
affordable solutions to space missions. The company is an innovative, experienced integrator of
aerospace systems and developer of advanced aerospace products and technologies.