Happy 4th Birthday to the ST-16

posted by Doug Sinclair

On this day in 2013 the first five ST-16 star trackers were launched.  They were carried on Skysat-1, Skysat-2, and BRITE-PL1 (AKA BRITE-LEM).

All three spacecraft, and five star trackers, continue operational.  BRITE-LEM is performing photometric observations of nearby bright stars, while the Skysats are producing commercial Earth imaging data.

Over these four years the workhorse ST-16 design has gone on to inspire the upgraded ST-16RT2, and the basis for the Darkstar optical communications terminal.  There are now 37 ST-16 and derivative units on-orbit.

Trick or Treat x 6

posted Nov 3, 2017, 11:17 AM by Doug Sinclair

Congratulations to Planet on the Halloween launch of 6 more SkySat spacecraft.  These carry a total of 12 ST-16RT2 star trackers, made by Sinclair Interplanetary, and 24 RW3-1.0 reaction wheels, made under license by our friends at Millennium Space Systems.

We have delivered hardware for 8 more of these spacecraft to round out the constellation over the next few years.

satellite_count += 6;

posted Jul 14, 2017, 4:02 AM by Doug Sinclair

Last night's Soyuz launch carried a host of small spacecraft.  Among them are:
  • NORSAT-1 and -2
  • Landmapper-BC 1 and 2
  • MKA-N 1 and 2
These satellites contain a total of 18 reaction wheels and 4 star trackers from Sinclair Interplanetary.  We wish the builders all the best through commissioning and operations.

Order book empty, for a brief shining moment

posted Jun 27, 2017, 11:04 AM by Doug Sinclair

When Cordell Grant, our COO, joined the company in mid-November we had 60 line items in our order book.  Thanks in large part to his hard work and skillful management, we have been chipping away at this backlog.  Yesterday we staked the screws on the very last outstanding deliverable -- a humble RW-0.01 reaction wheel engineering model.

For one precious delicate moment, the order book was empty.

Today we signed off on a new order for star trackers and reaction wheels, and the process begins again.  

Interview with NewSpace People

posted May 19, 2017, 2:42 PM by Doug Sinclair

A recent interview with NewSpace People is here.

I'm not really sure that Sinclair Interplanetary is a NewSpace company.  In some ways we are very conventional.  We deliver a concrete product, in exchange for cash.  We have no external investment, and our business plan features neither social media nor Internet of Things.  We're not even particularly new.

What we are, unashamedly, is a real space company.  We have hundreds of reaction wheels, torque rods, star trackers and sun sensors on-orbit today.  That's good enough for me.

Optical Communications Datasheets are Live

posted Feb 3, 2017, 10:13 AM by Doug Sinclair

The datasheets for optical crosslinks and downlinks are now available here.

I will be at the Smallsat Symposium on Feb 7 & 8, and look forward to hearing the latest news.

The Order Book is Open Again!

posted Jan 6, 2017, 12:48 PM by Doug Sinclair

After a year of hard work, we are most of the way through our production backlog.  At this time we can start accepting new orders for reaction wheels and star trackers.

We are not yet taking orders for optical downlinks, but by all means contact us with your requirements and we can start technical discussions.

The Benefits of Taking a Rest

posted Oct 16, 2016, 12:03 PM by Doug Sinclair

In February of 2016 we closed our order book for the year, in order to concentrate on renewing the organization.  It's not quite 2017 yet, but we have made some very positive developments since then.
  • We have shipped 27 star trackers, making headway into our backlog.  21 units remain in the order book.
  • We now occupy two floors of our building, with cleanroom and darkroom spaces in the basement and office space upstairs.
  • We have hired two new employees, including the Chief Operating Officer that we had been searching for (more on that later).
Most exciting for me, I have been able to get back into the lab and invent things.  We now have a brand new product line, taking our expertise in miniaturized precision spacecraft systems into a novel arena.  Our first units launch on two satellites in 2017.

What is it?  You'll have to wait just a little longer to find out!  We will be unveiling our new direction at the Reinventing Space Conference in London, October 24.

Another week, another launch...

posted Sep 26, 2016, 12:21 PM by Doug Sinclair

Congratulations to ISRO and SpaceFlight Industries on today's successful PSVL launch.  It carries BlackSky Pathfinder-1, which incorporates Sinclair Interplanetary reaction wheels.

Four More Satellites

posted Sep 16, 2016, 3:39 AM by Doug Sinclair   [ updated Sep 16, 2016, 3:40 AM ]

Congratulations to Terra Bella and Arianespace on the successful launch of four more SkySat satellites (numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6).  They carry the following Sinclair Interplanetary designed equipment:
  • 8 ST-16RT2 star trackers
  • 12 TQ-15 magnetic torque rods (built under license by SpaceFlight Industries)
  • 16 RW3-1.0 reaction wheels (built under license by Millennium Space Systems)
Less than 12 hours after launch all four spacecraft are 3-axis stabilized with the ADCS equipment all performing nominally.

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