True to its name, German startup Space Products and Innovation’s (SPiN) endeavors to “spin in technology and concepts from outside the aerospace industry” to improve satellite manufacturing. The company is working to apply one such concept, plug-and-play simplicity, to satellite manufacturing and sub-system integration in order to save customers time and money in spacecraft design and development. Exemplifying that concept, SPiN’s Multipurpose Adapter Generic Interface Connector (MA61C) is a universal adapter that connects incompatible off-the-shelf components, seamlessly integrating existing standard connectors and software.
SPiN characterizes MA61C as the first satellite subsystem adapter with plug-and-play functionality that enables connecting any satellite subsystem with the main onboard computer without installing any additional software or adapting hardware connectors. MA61C accelerates the technology cycle by allowing faster integration through the adapter. Since the adapter connects to most off-the-shelf components, manufacturers can rapidly replenish depleted satellite systems, reducing costs by an average of 50% on design and 30% on production, and removing a year from integration time.
To demonstrate the efficacy of its MA61C on-orbit, SPiN plans to launch a CubeSat assembled using MA61C as an onboard computer for five partner payloads as part of Spaceflight’s SXRS-6 mission no earlier than January 2022. The five organizations SPiN selected to take part in demonstrating this technology are AAC Hyperion, Telespazio, Crystalspace, TU Munich, and NewSpace Systems.
“The mission exemplifies our company’s goal of breaking down integration incompatibility barriers through collaboration with other space startups,” said Giulia Federico, co-founder and chief operating officer of SPiN. “It is our hope that this mission will have long-term impacts and overcome differences across the space industry, supporting entrepreneurs in achieving their visions.”
Spaceflight will integrate SPiN’s spacecraft, SPiN-1, into its Sherpa-LTC1 orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) on the SXRS-6 mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Following the deployment of SPiN-1, the CubeSat will begin its demonstration which will last for at least two months.
“We chose Spaceflight to manage our mission because of their quick time to space and convenient launch windows which suited our demonstration timeline,” said Saish Sridharan, co-founder and chief technology officer of SPiN. “We have found the support and industry expertise they have provided during this process very helpful, particularly since this is our first satellite launch.”
SPiN’s long-term vision is that this mission will, “ultimately lead to more space ventures and broader access to space,” said Federico.