We love putting a spotlight on our customers, showcasing their hard work and innovation. Today, we’re focused on HawkEye 360 and its radio frequency mapping satellites.
HawkEye 360 is bringing a unique technology to the commercial market and the world. Their satellites are bringing a brand new data layer never before available commercially — precise mapping of radio frequency emissions. This unique ability to identify and geolocate sources of radio frequencies from space reveals previously invisible knowledge about activities around the world. It is extremely valuable to many users ranging from defense security, shipping companies, insurance industry, and telecommunications customers.
HawkEye 360 first worked with Spaceflight in 2018, successfully launching its first cluster of spacecraft aboard Spaceflight’s record-breaking SSO-A mission, which sent 64 smallsats to space aboard a Falcon 9. The mission was a success, and HawkEye 360 was able to begin delivering data to their customers globally.
Next up for launch is HawkEye Cluster 2, which features even more powerful satellites that can geolocate multiple signals simultaneously. These satellites are scheduled to launch with Spaceflight on its SpaceX Rideshare-3 (SXRS-3) mission via the Sherpa-FX orbital transfer vehicle on a Falcon 9, no earlier than January 2021. Each new set of satellites improves revisit, capacity, and latency. As the constellation continues to grow, HawkEye 360 is planning to collect data about every half hour anywhere on Earth.
Spaceflight’s unique rideshare model works for HawkEye 360’s launch needs. “It’s a cost-effective way to get to orbit, with the size of our satellites,” says Adam Bennett, Product Marketing Director at HawkEye 360. “Our satellites are approximately 30 kg each, we launch three satellites at a time to form a cluster. The satellites fly together in a unique formation to gather the geolocation data.”
Spaceflight takes care of more than just the ride to space. “Spaceflight handles the launch integration, the logistics and planning of getting our satellites on the rocket and safely into orbit. We appreciated the great work Spaceflight provided for Cluster 1,” says Bennett. “As a young startup company, it was critical we had trusted experts leading the launch efforts. Spaceflight continues to be a valued partner as we scale our company.”
Spaceflight has also signed a Multiple Launch Services Agreement (MLSA) with HawkEye 360, whereby we will provide capacity, engineering, and mission management services to launch Cluster 4, 5, and 6.
“Since launch is challenging, we looked for a partner that could offer a variety of launch options and flexible arrangements to satisfy our mission needs,” said Rob Rainhart, chief operating officer at HawkEye 360. “Spaceflight’s experience in mission management and launch services has allowed us to focus on building our spacecraft while they handle the logistics of getting our satellites safely on orbit. They have been supportive from the early days of HawkEye 360 and we look forward to continuing the relationship as we rapidly expand our constellation.”