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Satellite Missions Catalogue

EPICHyper / Dragonette

Dec 13, 2023

EO

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Operational (nominal)

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AAC Clyde Space

EPICHyper 1, 2 and 3 (also known as Dragonette by Wyvern Inc.) are 6U satellites designed and manufactured by AAC Clyde Space, providing Hyperspectral Imaging to Wyvern Inc. for agricultural and environmental monitoring. The final satellite in the constellation, EPICHyper-3, was launched on 11 November 2023. 

Quick facts

Overview

Mission typeEO
AgencyAAC Clyde Space
Mission statusOperational (nominal)
Launch date15 Apr 2023

EPICHyper-3 Satellite (Image credit: AAC Clyde Space)

Summary

Mission Capabilities

EPICHyper is part of AAC Clyde Space's ‘Epic View’ family of spacecraft, which are optimised to deliver multi-spectral and hyperspectral images of the Earth's surface for agriculture and environmental monitoring. The images will aid in yield optimisation, identification of pests and invasive plants, and changes in soil composition. The hyperspectral data delivered by these satellites will help communities and farmers minimise the environmental impact of their activities. 1)

Performance Specifications

EPICHyper-1 is in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at 97.4 degrees inclination and 500 km altitude, and has the capacity to capture data from 23 bands at a 5.3-meter pixel resolution. EPICHyper-2 was launched into a LEO at 97.5 degrees inclination and 520 km altitude, with the capacity to capture data from 32 bands with a band centre wavelength range of 445 nm to 880 nm. EPICHyper-3 can also capture 32 bands in the same spectral range at 5.3-meter pixel resolution. All three satellites have a swath width of 20 km at nadir. 

Space and Hardware Components

The three EPICHyper satellites were each launched on Falcon 9 rockets as part of the Transporter 7, 8 and 9 rideshare missions. EPICHyper-1 was launched aboard the free-flying cubesat deployer ION-SCV 010 (ION - Satellite Carrier Vehicle), developed by Italian company D-Orbit.

The EPICHyper satellites feature fast data downlink in an analysis ready format and storage of at least 4 GB on platform and 128 GB on payload. They also feature enhanced control capabilities through a high-precision, high accuracy Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS).

Overview

EPICHyper-1, 2 and 3 are 6U cubesats designed and manufactured by AAC Clyde Space that will provide Earth observation data on agriculture and environmental monitoring. The third and final satellite in the EPICHyper series, EPICHyper-3, was launched on 11 November 2023. The full three-satellite constellation is planned to be fully operational in 2024.

Wyvern Inc. will have exclusive access to the hyperspectral EO data produced by EPICHyper for the next 4 years under a Space Data Service (SDaaS) deal. The EO data will be used to help maximise productivity and reduce costs while increasing environmental sustainability. 2) 3) 4) 

Figure 1: Artistic rendition of EPICHyper-1 in orbit. Image credit: AAC Clyde Space

Spacecraft

The EPICHyper satellites are 6U cubesats, which are a class of nanosatellites that use a standard size of 1U measuring 10x10x10 cm. The satellites are powered by solar cell batteries.

Launch

EPICHyper-1 was launched on 14 April 2023 aboard the Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Transporter 7 rideshare mission, aboard the free-flying cubesat deployer ION-SCV 010 (ION - Satellite Carrier Vehicle), developed by Italian company D-Orbit. It was launched into a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) of 97.4 degrees at 500 km, and will complete an orbit around Earth once approximately every 100 minutes. 5) 6) 7)

EPICHyper-2 was launched on 12 June 2023 aboard the Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Transporter 8 rideshare mission, along with 71 other payloads. It was launched into a LEO of 97.5 degrees at 520 km.

EPICHyper-3 was launched on 11 November 2023 aboard the Falcon 9 rocket, as part of the Transporter 9 rideshare mission. 

All three EPICHyper satellites were launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Mission Status

  • November 11, 2023: EPICHyper-3 launched from Vandenberg Space Force base in California. 8)
  • September 5, 2023: Wyvern announces partnership with Loft Orbital, a space infrastructure company, to expand the capacity of the EPICHyper constellation. 9)
  • June 12, 2023: EPICHyper-2 launched aboard the Falcon 9 rocket as part of the SpaceX Transporter 8 rideshare mission 10)
  • 14 April 2023: EPICHyper-1 launched on 14 April 2023 aboard the Falcon 9 rocket as part of the SpaceX Transporter 7 rideshare mission. 11)

Sensor Complement

Hyperspectral Sensors

EPICHyper images visible to near-infrared (VNIR) spectral bands of between 500 nm to 800 nm (EPICHyper-1) and 445 nm to 880 nm (EPICHyper-2 and 3). EPICHyper-1 can capture data from 23 bands at a 5.3 m spatial resolution. EPICHyper-2 and 3 can capture data from 32 bands, also at 5.3 m spatial resolution. 12)

Table 1: Hyperspectral Imagery product specifications.

Property

Description

EPICHyper-1

EPICHyper-2 and 3

Processing level

Level 1B

Number of Spectral Bands

23

32

Spatial Resolution At Nadir (GSD)

5.3 m

Spectral Resolution

20 nm - 32 nm (FWHM)

18 nm - 35 nm (FWHM)

Radiometric Image Pixel Units

At-Sensor Radiance

Spectral Band Centre Wavelength Range

500 nm - 800 nm

445 nm to 880 nm

Geolocation Accuracy

To Be Characterised

Image Orientation

Map-Projected North-Up

Coordinate System

Geographic WGS82 (EPSG 4326)

Image File Format

Cloud-Optimised GeoTIFF (COG)

Metadata File Format

STAC (JSON)

Sensor Bit Depth

12-bit

Imagery Product Delivery Data Type

32-bit Floating Point (float32)

Scenes Swath Width At Nadir

20 km (at nadir)

Off-Nadir Angle (ONA) Range

0°-20°

 

Ground Segment

In 2023, Wyvern partnered with Loft Orbital to meet the demand for high-quality data and expand the imaging capacity of the EPICHyper Constellation. Wyvern will operate the mission using Cockpit, Loft’s mission operations software, which can support 20-100 times the downlink volume as a traditional cubesat. The EPICHyper satellites feature fast data downlink in an analysis ready format and storage of at least 4 GB on platform and 128 GB on payload. 13)

References

1) Satellite Evolution Group. AAC Clyde Space delivers space data as a service satellite EPICHyper-3 for launch. October 31, 2023. URL: https://www.satelliteevolution.com/post/aac-clyde-space-delivers-space-data-as-a-service-satellite-epichyper-3-for-launch 

2) Krebs GD. Epichyper 1, 2, 3 (dragonette 001, 002, 003). Gunter’s Space Page. July 24, 2023. URL: https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/epichyper-1.htm.  

3) AAC Clyde Space. AAC Clyde Space Delivers Space Data as a Service Satellite EPICHyper-3 for Launch. AAC Clyde Space. November 16, 2021. URL: https://investor.aac-clyde.space/en/press-releases/?slug=aac-clyde-space-delivers-space-data-as-a-service-satellite-e-77376

4) Satnews. Dragonette-001 smallsat to capture hyperspectral imagery. SatNews. May 7, 2023. URL: https://news.satnews.com/2023/05/07/dragonette-001-smallsat-to-capture-hyperspectral-imagery/ 

5) Satnews. A Transporter-7 achievement: AAC Clyde Space SDaaS smallsat now aloft. SatNews. April 15, 2023. URL: https://news.satnews.com/2023/04/15/aac-clyde-space-sdaas-satellite-successfully-launched/.

6) Kulu E. Airtable. Database nanosats.eu. URL: https://airtable.com/appYqjeS3HqPyDFCJ/shrt6CdMvmloJO7WA/tbldJoOBP5wlNOJQY 

7) Lachacz A. Edmonton space start-up looking to the stars as it prepares for first satellite launch. Edmonton. March 29, 2023. URL: https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/edmonton-space-start-up-looking-to-the-stars-as-it-prepares-for-first-satellite-launch-1.6334875 

8) Smyth R. Dragonette-003: Wyvern expands its global reach. Wyvern. November 20, 2023. URL: https://wyvern.space/dragonette-003-wyvern-expands-its-global-reach/ 

9) Cowing K. Wyvern and loft orbital join forces to expand Dragonette satellite constellation. SpaceRef. September 5, 2023. URL: https://spaceref.com/space-commerce/wyvern-and-loft-orbital-join-forces-to-expand-dragonette-satellite-constellation/ 

10) Jewett R. SpaceX delivers 72 spacecraft to orbit in transporter-8 rideshare mission. Via Satellite. June 13, 2023. URL: https://www.satellitetoday.com/launch/2023/06/13/spacex-delivers-72-spacecraft-to-orbit-in-transporter-8-rideshare-mission/ 

11) AAC Clyde Space. AAC Clyde Space SDAAS satellite, EPICHYPER-1, successfully launched on SPACEX Rocket. AAC Clyde Space. July 5, 2023. URL: https://www.aac-clyde.space/articles/aac-clyde-space-sdaas-satellite-epichyper-1-successfully-launched-on-spacex-rocket.

12) Wyvern. HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGERY DATA SHEET Version 1.3. Wyvern. July 2023.

13) SatNews. Wyvern and Loft Orbital join forces to expand Dragonette satellite constellation. SatNews. September 7, 2023. URL: https://news.satnews.com/2023/09/07/wyvern-and-loft-orbital-join-forces-to-expand-dragonette-satellite-constellation/ 

14) Sorell J. Wyvern space update. Canadian Space Society. October 24, 2023. URL: https://css.ca/wyvern-space-update/ 

The information compiled and edited in this article was provided by Herbert J. Kramer from his documentation of: "Observation of the Earth and Its Environment: Survey of Missions and Sensors" (Springer Verlag) as well as many other sources after the publication of the 4th edition in 2002. - Comments and corrections to this article are always welcome for further updates (eoportal@symbios.space).

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