On the fifth floor of Triton in the industrial district of Fontvieille, the young company Orbital Solutions is working on a nanosatellite named ASM1 Cicero. A technological jewel weighing only 15 kg and intended to collect atmospheric data.
Previously reserved for states or government groups, the occupation of space is now opening up to private companies. Technological progress has made a leap through miniaturization and the same goes for satellites. No need to weigh tons and cost hundreds of millions of euros to reach Earth’s orbit. With a budget of just over one million euros, three Orbital Solutions engineers have equipped their satellites with a multitude of modules, complex circuits, and numerous solar collectors to power the battery to reach more than 400 kilometers of altitude.
A scientific and meteorological goal
With climate change intensifying, the accuracy of atmospheric information is of paramount importance. Through a radio occultation system, the ASM1 Cicero will collect raw data in order to perfect the prediction models of specialists. Still in the production and assembly phase, it will then undergo all the tests of operation and resistance to consider the trip. From a technical point of view, the various components must be operational. The nanosatellite must also be able to withstand shocks and temperature differences to persist between 4 and 5 years in space.
*Article originally published in the French edition of the Monaco Tribune.