MilSpace2: Spectrum monitoring dual satellite system

Satellite communication
Sensor and processing surveillance, security and safety
2 December 2022

Defence organisations are becoming increasingly dependent on space for its deployment. Consider, for example, the large number of satellites, which are important for communication, navigation and observation. The Dutch Ministry of Defence will want to develop more in the space domain in the coming years as well as address its dependence on it and the threats and developments in this area. This is described in the Dutch Defence Space Agenda.

Milspace2 project

Ahead of this, a successful Flight Readiness Review was completed on 28 November for the MilSpace 2 satellites. The MilSpace2 satellite system will demonstrate the military use of a microsatellite spectrum monitoring system and will build on the experience of the Norwegian NorSat-3 and the Dutch BRIK-II missions.

Almost ready for the launch Milspace 2 is a project that has been running for 5 years and has led, among other things, to the design and realisation of the two Milspace 2 satellites Birkeland and Huygens. The launch of the Milspace 2 satellites is scheduled for December this year.

This is the first time Norway and The Netherlands launch a constellation of satellites that will fly in tandem, which means the involved parties gain experience in formation flying throughout the project.

Working in tandem

The Milspace 2 mission will provide a non-cooperative and all-weather capability for detecting radars of interest. The two nano-satellites will both be able to measure the "Angle of Arrival" (AoA), and, when working in tandem, will offer improved geolocation accuracy thanks to the time of arrival difference (TDoA). This is the first known concept to offer combined AoA and TDoA for a two-satellite system.

Cooperation between the Netherlands and Norway

The Strategic Mutual Assistance in Research and Technology (SMART) Military Use of Space (MilSpace) Science & Technology cooperation is a bilateral agreement between the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Norway. The project team, acting on behalf of the MoDs, consists of FFI from Norway and NLR and TNO from the Netherlands.

Factsheet MilSpace 2

Get inspired

12 resultaten, getoond 1 t/m 5

Norwegian satellite with SmallCAT laser communication system aboard, successfully launched

15 April 2023

Norway's NorSat Technology Demonstrator has been successfully launched by the Norwegian Space Agency from SpaceX in California. The NorSat-TD satellite carries several payloads, including the SmallCAT laser communication system, which was developed by TNO-led consortium to enhance data transmission capabilities of small satellites using direct-to-earth laser communication. SmallCAT will be tested in orbit over the next few months by connecting with the optical ground station at a TNO location in The Hague.

TNO-led Dutch consortium to develop HemiCAT laser communication terminal

22 March 2023

TNO will begin developing a laser communication terminal with a consortium of Dutch partners. This high-efficiency miniature demonstrator called HemiCAT will increase data transmission capabilities of small satellites via direct to earth laser communication.

FSO Instruments introduces laser satellite communications to the market

14 March 2023

The Dutch technology developers and producers, Demcon and VDL Groep, are combining their laser satellite communication activities in FSO instruments. This is the first laser satellite communication technology company to be founded in the Netherlands and builds onto the groundbreaking technology developed by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) in cooperation with companies, including Demcon and VDL.

TNO’s view of 2030: Getting a grip on climate change from space

17 November 2022

Greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere are one of the main contributors to climate change and must therefore be rapidly reduced if we are to meet the 2030 climate targets. TNO is working on new satellite technology that makes it possible to do so. Because the better we identify emissions, the more targeted the action we can take.

SmallCAT laser communication system delivered for integration to Norwegian NORSAT-TD Spacecraft

26 September 2022

The SmallCAT uses new optical communication technology that uses satellites to send information to Earth. This happens via invisible light signals and enables much faster data transfers than using the radio frequencies currently employed for communication everywhere.