April 28, 2022 11:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time
LAFAYETTE, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, assisted in the deployment of Ascent, the company’s first CubeSat spacecraft bus launched to a geostationary, or GEO, orbit by the Air Force Research Laboratory as part of the U.S. Space Force’s Test Program-3 mission.
Blue Canyon provided the 12U CubeSat bus, avionics, flight software, Guidance Navigation and Control actuators and sensors, batteries, solar panels, solar array drives, two propulsion systems, and RF communication hardware. BCT was on-site during commissioning and ensured the spacecraft was in a safe, stable power and thermal attitude before releasing operations to the lab to complete the mission objectives.
“In addition to being BCT’s first CubeSat flown at GEO, this is also the first demonstration of our Solar Array Drive Assemblies and the first application of our CubeSat components in the GEO radiation and charging environment,” said John Carvo, executive director of CubeSats, a business unit of BCT. “This is yet another example of our vertical integration and collaborative partnerships with our customers that enable BCT to expand the frontiers of science and defense.”
The Ascent mission is evaluating the performance of commercial-off-the-shelf technology and capabilities in the GEO space environment, only previously seen in LEO flight experiments. Ascent comprises several demonstrations that include flying two propulsion systems and the first GEO application of the Georgia Tech cold gas propulsion system to provide momentum management. BCT contacted the spacecraft on the first acquisition and continues to support on-orbit questions as needed.
At the company’s manufacturing facility in Boulder, Colorado, Blue Canyon recently converted the available office space to house its full CubeSat product line. BCT has more than 20 CubeSats in production and offers standardized designs that enable rapid delivery. The company is comprised of four core business units – CubeSats, Microsats, Components, and Mission Operations, with each offering peak performance, low-cost, and integrated solutions delivered directly to the end-user.
About Blue Canyon Technologies
Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, offers a diverse portfolio of innovative, reliable and affordable spacecraft that enable a broad range of missions and technological advancements. BCT’s mission is to enable space missions to expand the frontiers of science and defense. BCT is currently supporting nearly 50 unique missions with over 90 spacecraft, all in production or recently delivered at their newly developed 80,000-square-foot facility in Lafayette, Colorado.
BCT has supported missions for the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats, which successfully traveled to Mars. The company has been recognized with awards from Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, the 2020 Best in Biz Award and the 2020 Tibbetts Award.
About Raytheon Intelligence & Space
Raytheon Intelligence & Space delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, cyber services and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers in more than 30 countries around the world. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the business generated $15.2 billion in annual revenue in 2021 and has 34,500 employees worldwide. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies Corporation.