Satellite Platforms: Overview

A Satellite Platform for Every Mission

We are the leader in low-cost customized satellite design, production, launch and operations.

Customization of Proven Platforms
is a Recipe for Success

 

SFL has achieved a remarkable legacy of success by working closely with our customers to develop custom small satellites, microsatellites, and nanosatellites built on space-proven platforms from 3 to 500 kilograms. Our approach to platform customization meets, or outperforms, the technical and budgetary needs of nearly any type of microspace or NewSpace mission.

Our reliable satellite platforms provide the foundation for each new project, with specifications tailored to the customer’s mission requirements. Customers in the commercial, government, and research sectors benefit from over 295 years of cumulative space heritage that allows us to accelerate the design, development and launch of satellite missions while minimizing investment.

SFL innovations over the years have allowed small satellites to be used for applications previously not considered. These innovations include advanced attitude control, precise pointing, and autonomous formation flying technologies.

Dating from 1998, our heritage includes 70 operational successes and 26 currently under development or awaiting launch that fulfill a wide variety of applications, such as Earth observation, atmospheric monitoring, ship tracking, communication, radio frequency (RF) geolocation, technology demonstration, space astronomy, solar physics, space plasma, and other scientific research.

The downloadable table below provides an overview of our Platform specifications, or click on these links to view more information about our three main classes of platforms.

satellite platforms

Satellite Platforms

  Thunder 3U Spartan 6U Jaeger 12U/16U Nemo Defiant Nautilus Dauntless
Example specifications only – platforms are fully customizable
Mass 3 – 6 kg 6 – 12 kg 12 – 24 kg 15 – 20 kg 20 – 50 kg Up to 150 kg Up to 500 kg
Volume 10 x 10 x 34 cm 10 x 20 x 36 cm 12U: 20 x 20 x 36 cm
16U: 20 x 20 x 45 cm
20 x 30 x 44 cm 36 x 36 x 45 cm
(scalable)
60 x 60 x 60 cm
(scalable)
1 x 1 x 1 m
(scalable)
Payload Mass Up to 3 kg Up to 6 kg Up to 15 kg Up to 12 kg Up to 30 kg Up to 90 kg Up to 300 kg
Payload Volume Up to 2 dm3
2U
Up to 4 dm3
4U
Up to 10 dm3
10U
Up to 12 dm3 Up to 26 dm3 Up to 0.16 m3 Up to 0.80 m3
Payload Power Up to
31 Wh/orbit
62 W peak
Up to
46 Wh/orbit
160 W peak (4)
Up to
76 Wh/orbit
215 W peak (4)
Up to
37 Wh/orbit
160 W peak
Up to
76 Wh/orbit
215 W peak
Up to
122 Wh/orbit
525 W peak
Up to
260 Wh/orbit
800 W peak
ACS Interial Stability 2° (1)
10 a rcsec (2)
2° (1)
10 a rcsec (2)
2° (1)
10 arcsec (2)
1 arcsec (3)
2° (1)
10 arcsec (2)
1 arcsec (3)
2° (1)
10 arcsec (2)
1 arcsec (3)
2° (1)
10 arcsec (2)
1 arcsec (3)
2° (1)
10 arcsec (2)
1 arcsec (3)
ACS Modes 3-axis inertial, nadir, target
tracking
3-axis inertial, nadir, target
tracking
3-axis inertial, nadir, target
tracking
3-axis inertial, nadir, target
tracking
3-axis inertial, nadir, target
tracking
3-axis inertial, nadir, target
tracking
3-axis inertial, nadir, target
tracking
Downlink Up to
50 Mbps
Up to
50 Mbps
Up to
50 Mbps
Up to
50 Mbps
Up to
120 Mbps
Up to
240 Mbps
Up to
400 Mbps
Propulsion Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional
Navigation GPS, 5-10 m GPS, 5-10 m GPS, 5-10 m GPS, 5-10 m GPS, 5-10 m GPS, 5-10 m GPS, 5-10 m
Launch Interface COTS
Deployers
COTS
Deployers
COTS
Deployers
XPOD Duo
XPOD Delta
Separation
System
Separation
System
Separation
System
Quality Approach Newspace or
Microspace
Newspace or
Microspace
Newspace or
Microspace
Microspace Microspace Microspace Microspace
Mission Heritage CanX-2, NTS,
CanX-7
Kepler, AISSat Constellation,
BRITE Constellation, EV9, CanX-4, CanX-5
Kepler
NorSat-3
GHGSat-D, Cl, C2, NorSat-1, -2, -3, HE360P, DMSat-1 HE360, GrayJay,
NorSat-TD,
NorSat-4
NEMO-HD LEO 2
Thunder 3U
newspace or microspace
Mass:
3 – 6 kg
Volume:
10 x 10 x 34 cm
Payload Mass:
Up to 3 kg
Payload Volume:
Up to 2 dm3 2U
Payload Power:
Up to 31 Wh/orbit 62 W peak
ACS Interial Stability:
2° (1) 10 a rcsec (2)
ACS Modes:
3-axis inertial, nadir, target tracking
Downlink:
Up to 50 Mbps
Propulsion:
Optional
Navigation:
GPS, 5-10 m

Launch Interface:
GPS, 5-10 m COTS Deployers
Quality Approach:
Newspace or Microspace
Mission Heritage:
CanX-2, NTS, CanX-7

Spartan 6U
newspace or microspace
Mass:
6 – 12 kg
Volume:
10 x 20 x 36 cm
Payload Mass:
Up to 6 kg
Payload Volume:
Up to 4 dm3 4U
Payload Power:
Up to 46 Wh/orbit 160 W peak (4)
ACS Interial Stability:
2° (1) 10 a rcsec (2)
ACS Modes:
3-axis inertial, nadir, target tracking
Downlink:
Up to 50 Mbps
Propulsion:
Optional
Navigation:
GPS, 5-10 m

Launch Interface:
GPS, 5-10 m COTS Deployers
Quality Approach:
Newspace or Microspace
Mission Heritage:
Kepler, AISSat Constellation, BRITE Constellation, EV9, CanX-4, CanX-5

Jaeger 12U/16U
newspace or microspace
Mass:
12 – 24 kg
Volume:
12U: 20 x 20 x 36 cm 16U: 20 x 20 x 45 cm
Payload Mass:
Up to 15 kg
Payload Volume:
Up to 10 dm3 10U
Payload Power:
Up to 76 Wh/orbit 215 W peak (4)
ACS Interial Stability:
2° (1) 10 arcsec (2) 1 arcsec (3)
ACS Modes:
3-axis inertial, nadir, target tracking
Downlink:
Up to 50 Mbps
Propulsion:
Optional
Navigation:
GPS, 5-10 m

Launch Interface:
GPS, 5-10 m COTS Deployers
Quality Approach:
Newspace or Microspace
Mission Heritage:
Kepler NorSat-3

Nemo
newspace or microspace
Mass:
15 – 20 kg
Volume:
20 x 30 x 44 cm
Payload Mass:
Up to 12 kg
Payload Volume:
Up to 12 dm3
Payload Power:
Up to 37 Wh/orbit 160 W peak
ACS Interial Stability:
2° (1) 10 arcsec (2) 1 arcsec (3)
ACS Modes:
3-axis inertial, nadir, target tracking
Downlink:
Up to 50 Mbps
Propulsion:
Optional
Navigation:
GPS, 5-10 m

Launch Interface:
XPOD Duo XPOD Delta
Quality Approach:
Microspace
Mission Heritage:
GHGSat-D, Cl, C2, NorSat-1, -2, -3, HE360P, DMSat-1

Defiant
newspace or microspace
Mass:
20 – 50 kg
Volume:
36 x 36 x 45 cm (scalable)
Payload Mass:
Up to 30 kg
Payload Volume:
Up to 26 dm3
Payload Power:
Up to 76 Wh/orbit 215 W peak
ACS Interial Stability:
2° (1) 10 arcsec (2) 1 arcsec (3)
ACS Modes:
3-axis inertial, nadir, target tracking
Downlink:
Up to 120 Mbps
Propulsion:
Optional
Navigation:
GPS, 5-10 m

Launch Interface:
Separation System
Quality Approach:
Microspace
Mission Heritage:
HE360, GrayJay, NorSat-TD, NorSat-4

Nautilus
newspace or microspace
Mass:
Up to 150 kg
Volume:
60 x 60 x 60 cm (scalable)
Payload Mass:
Up to 90 kg
Payload Volume:
Up to 0.16 m3
Payload Power:
Up to 122 Wh/orbit 525 W peak
ACS Interial Stability:
2° (1) 10 arcsec (2) 1 arcsec (3)
ACS Modes:
3-axis inertial, nadir, target tracking
Downlink:
Up to 240 Mbps
Propulsion:
Optional
Navigation:
GPS, 5-10 m

Launch Interface:
Separation System
Quality Approach:
Microspace
Mission Heritage:
NEMO-HD

Dauntless
newspace or microspace
Mass:
Up to 500 kg
Volume:
1 x 1 x 1 m (scalable)
Payload Mass:
Up to 300 kg
Payload Volume:
Up to 0.80 m3
Payload Power:
Up to 260 Wh/orbit 800 W peak
ACS Interial Stability:
2° (1) 10 arcsec (2) 1 arcsec (3)
ACS Modes:
3-axis inertial, nadir, target tracking
Downlink:
Up to 400 Mbps
Propulsion:
Optional
Navigation:
GPS, 5-10 m

Launch Interface:
Separation System
Quality Approach:
Microspace
Mission Heritage:
LEO 2

(1) With magnetometer, sun sensor, reaction wheels in 30 min.
(2) With star tracker and three reaction wheels in 30 seconds.
(3) With gyro, star-tracker, and reaction wheels in 10 seconds.
(4) Articulated solar arrays available.