Boeing announces Phantom Phoenix family of small satellites
By David Szondy
April 9, 2013
One problem with satellites is that they’re either one-offs or part of a constellation of a single, costly design. Both can be expensive and neither lends itself to getting a specialized satellite into orbit quickly and on a budget. Boeing’s answer to this is a kit car class of a small satellites called Phantom Phoenix that are relatively easy to customize and economical to launch.
The Phantom Phoenix family of satellites is made to a basic design with simplified payload integration options to allow for swiftly building satellites for specific missions. Intended for a wide range of missions including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and planetary science, the Phantom Phoenix comes in three configurations, each sharing a common architecture, that can be lofted on all major launch vehicles.The Phantom Phoenix prototypes include:
- Phantom Phoenix Nano: This is a four to ten kilogram (8.8 to 22 lb) nanosatellite aimed at weather and science missions of up to one year duration.
- Phantom Phoenix ESPA: This 180 kilogram (396.8 lb) bird is for missions lasting one to five years and uses a common interstage adapter to allow up to six satellites to be launched at a time.
- Phantom Phoenix: This 500 to 1,000 kilogram (1,102 to 2,204 lb) satellite is for single or dual-launch missions of over seven years duration.
Boeing says each configuration has tailored avionics, selective redundancy options, high autonomy and low-risk integration.
According to Boeing Phantom Works President Darryl Davis, “Our customers need greater mission flexibility from smaller satellites that can be built more affordably, and delivered more quickly, without sacrificing quality. Building upon the success Boeing has had with expanding our 702 satellite family, we’ve rapidly developed a line of satellites to address the market between large geosynchronous spacecraft and nanosatellites.”
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