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Unibap to Supply Advanced Data Handling Computer for NASA's HyTI-2 ACMES Mission
Unibap's role in this mission, through the provision of its SpaceCloud iX10 platform, signifies not just a business achievement but also a technological leap in space-based data handling and processing. This capability is increasingly vital as the volume of data generated by space missions continues to grow, necessitating innovative solutions for efficient data management and analysis in orbit.
Unibap to Supply Advanced Data Handling Computer for NASA's HyTI-2 ACMES Mission
by Robert Schreiber
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Jan 26, 2024

Unibap AB (publ) has announced securing an important order for its SpaceCloud iX10 platform, earmarked for NASA's forthcoming Hyperspectral Thermal Imaging satellite mission, HyTI-2. Valued at $350,000 USD, this order marks a significant milestone for Unibap, reinforcing its position in the field of advanced space computing.

The SpaceCloud iX10, Unibap's cutting-edge onboard payload data handling computer, is slated for delivery to the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Hawaii Spaceflight Laboratory (HSFL) by mid-2024. HSFL, the system integrator for this mission, is responsible for the payload integration of the ACMES (Active Cooling for Multispectral Earth Sensors) mission, a 16U CubeSat venture. This mission, falling under the ambit of NASA's In-space Validation of Earth Science Technologies (InVEST) Program, aims to augment the capabilities of Earth observation technologies in space.

This latest collaboration builds on the successful delivery, integration, and extensive testing of Unibap's previous model, the iX5, for the initial HyTI mission during 2021-2023. The repeat order for the iX10 underscores the robustness and reliability of Unibap's technology in demanding space environments.

"The iX10 from Unibap is crucial for advanced on-orbit real-time data processing from the high spectral and spatial LWIR sensor, and for creating L1 and L2 products," explained Dr. Miguel Nunes, Deputy Director of the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory. He highlighted the challenge posed by the massive data sets generated by space sensors, which are impractical and cost-prohibitive to download in entirety to the ground. The iX10 addresses this issue by enabling efficient data storage and analytics onboard satellites, fostering the production of timely information essential for real-time data-driven customer needs.

Dr. Rob Wright, Director of The Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) and principal investigator for both the HyTI and HyTI-2 instruments, expressed excitement about continuing the collaboration with Unibap. "For achieving the performance enhancements needed for HyTI-2, the iX10 was the obvious choice. No other solution provided the throughput and processing power necessary to operate a high pixel count focal plane at such high frame rates," Dr. Wright stated.

Johan Aman, CEO of Unibap, reflected on the company's journey and achievements. "We have proved our proficiency with several in-orbit demonstrations of our iX5-family computers, leading to significant growth in market interest for our next-generation SpaceCloud solutions, particularly the iX10 family," he said. Aman emphasized the superior on-orbit processing performance of the iX10 and expressed enthusiasm about the ongoing collaboration with Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory, marking a pivotal step in Unibap's journey towards pioneering on-orbit edge computing solutions.

The ACMES mission, spearheaded by Utah State University and implemented by Orion Space Solutions, with HSFL providing the HyTI-2 payload, represents a notable advance in CubeSat technology. It is part of NASA's broader initiative to validate new Earth science technologies in space, contributing significantly to our understanding of Earth's environment and climate.

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