Astranis shifts to Plan B after its commercial internet satellite malfunctions in orbit

July 24, 2023: On Friday, Satellite internet service provider Astranis said its first commercial satellite in orbit, planned to provide Alaska range, has malfunctioned. A backup satellite is scheduled for the leap.

It’s an early setback for a unique approach to providing internet service to underserved communities in remote locations. Astranis reported in May that Arcturus was working “correctly” and could start servicing Alaskans as soon as mid-June.

The company’s Arcturus satellite suffered an issue with both its solar arrays, the company said. The problem “first showed up a couple of weeks ago,” Astranis CEO John Gedmark said.

On Monday, the company identified the root cause: solar array drive assembly made by a vendor and not by Astranis.

“Solar array drives are motors that rotate the solar arrays to ensure they’re always pointed at the sun, and they transmit that power back into the spacecraft. So if they stop responding and rotating, you don’t get the full power you need,” Gedmark said.

The lack of power from the solar arrays means that its broadband communications “cannot operate at full capacity,” Gedmark said, but Astranis has identified the issue and knows how to fix it on future satellites.

Additionally, the company said Astranis has “full control” of Arcturus.

The company refused to name the vendor that supplied the solar array drives. Gedmark confirmed on Friday that, until the solar array issue, the Astranis-built parts were working. The group had completed early protests of connecting to remote areas in Alaska.

Posts You Might Like
U.S. and Japan attack an agreement on the Supply of Minerals for E.V. Batteries
Article Name
U.S. and Japan attack an agreement on the Supply of Minerals for E.V. Batteries
Publisher Name
The Women Leaders
Publisher Logo