On Sunday, November 12 2017 Orbital ATK successfully launched its Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus spacecraft from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch marked Orbital ATK’s eighth resupply mission (OA-8) to the International Space Station (ISS). For the OA-8 mission, Cygnus was loaded with approximately 7,400 pounds of cargo including supplies and provisions for the space station crew, space station hardware, computer equipment and science experiments for the ISS.
The Cygnus rendezvous was supported by two of Neptec’s TriDAR rendezvous and docking laser systems. The TriDAR provides real-time 6 degrees of freedom data for guidance during rendezvous and docking procedures. The TriDAR systems supported the final 1000m (1km) to ~10 meter portion of the flight.
Cygnus arrived at the International Space Station and was captured by Astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Randy Bresnik using the Canadarm2 at 5:04 AM on Tuesday, November 14. Cygnus is expected to remain at the International Space Station until early December when it will depart with more than 4,000 pounds of disposable cargo.
Visit NASA’s website for more information about this mission.
Neptec UK has been working with Eventech, a small company from Latvia. Eventech has designed an ultra-precise clock accurate to a trillionth of a second that has been chosen by the European Space Agency to fly to the Moon’s south pole on Russia’s Luna-27 lander in 2022. Neptec UK is teaming up with Eventech to prepare the flight model for launch.
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Neptec is proud to announce that we have been awarded a contract by the CSA to investigate sensor concepts for relative navigation in deep space.
For more information, please see: https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/award-notice/PW-MTB-690-14368-001
Neptec Design Group is pleased to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website, www.neptec.com. Featuring a brand new look, more information on our products and a fully responsive layout for all platforms – we hope you’ll find it easier to navigate and find what you’re looking for quickly and efficiently.
Our goal with this new website is to provide our visitors with a simple way to discover more about our products and the solutions we are able to provide space agencies and commercial space companies around the world.
We hope you like the changes, if you have any questions or feedback, please let us know by e-mailing us. If you’d like to stay connected on social media, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
September 18, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario
NEPTEC TO PROVIDE A NEW SET OF EYES ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
Neptec Design Group has been awarded an $11.9 million contract by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to develop a state-of-the-art vision system for the International Space Station (ISS). This new Canadian eye on the space station will be used to support ISS operations and advance technology for future space exploration missions.
The vision system will be developed, manufactured and qualified by a team of optical and robotic experts at Neptec’s Ottawa facilities. Neptec will also develop and certify ground control software for use at NASA’s and/or CSA’s mission control centres.
Scheduled to launch in 2021, the vision system will be operated from the Canadian Dextre Robotic arm and provide critical services to the ISS. It will be used to inspect the exterior surfaces of the ISS and equipped to detect the smallest damage. Like an airport’s control tower, the sensor suite will also be used to monitor and provide trajectory information about vehicles as they approach the ISS for docking. Operations of the system on the ISS will also provide a unique opportunity to test technologies necessary for future deep space exploration missions. Autonomous robots require artificial vision in order to “see” and such vision systems are a key enabling technology.
This new Canadian contribution to the ISS will be packed with exciting Canadian sensing technologies. Neptec has a 27 year history of contributing critical systems to some of the most demanding space exploration missions and the new sensor suite builds on a strong technology base including:
- TriDAR, a rendezvous and docking LiDAR that can provide guidance without requiring the use of cooperative targets.
- Laser Camera System (LCS) providing high resolution 3D inspection capability.
- Night vision thermal camera capable of operating in total darkness and full sunlight.
- High resolution video camera and lights capable of finding the smallest of damage and providing stunning images from Space.
- Artificial vision 2D and 3D real-time data processing in support of autonomous robotics.
“We are very excited to have been selected to provide this new Canadian contribution to the International Space Station,” says Stéphane Ruel, Neptec’s Vice President of Innovation. “This project will bring together years of research and development in innovative sensor technology and will give Neptec an edge in the global market. Such superhuman vision capability is critical in order to enable autonomous robotics from self driving vehicles to future space exploration robots.
About Neptec Design Group Ltd.
Neptec Design Group produces electro-optical and electro-mechanical systems for mission critical space applications. Founded in 1990, the company specializes in the development of space qualified LiDAR systems, metrology instruments, cameras, and other intelligent sensor/space systems. Neptec Design Group is ISO 9001 certified and has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Neptec Design Group
Monday, June 19th marked the beginning of the 52nd Paris Air Show, the largest aerospace event in the world. Mike Kearns of Neptec UK and Michel Lortie of Neptec Design Group are in attendance.
Neptec technology is currently an important part of three European Space Agency (ESA) programs; ExoMars, Proba 3 and Lunar Resurs. These three programs are being featured in the ESA Exhibition Chalet at the Paris Air Show which is both exciting and an honour for Neptec.
The ESA Exhibition includes:
- A mockup of the two Proba 3 satellites hanging from the ceiling along with a detailed description of the mission. Neptec is providing HAMS, the metrology instrument as a key technology on the mission.
- A model of the 2018 ExoMars Rover. Neptec is providing the navigation sensors to safely guide the rover over the Mars surface.
- The Lunar Lander is featured in a poster image of the LUNA 27 mission. Neptec is providing the landing sensor for the mission, which will help ensure a safe landing on a level surface.
For more information on Neptec’s role in the above missions, please see our website www.neptecuk.com or www.neptec.com