Swedish breakthrough in space on NASA satellite with electronics from AAC

PRESS RELEASE
October 11, 2012:
 

The Uppsala based company ÅAC Microtec has, on commission from the Swedish National Space Board and American NASA, delivered all the electronics to NASA’s test satellite TechEdSat, which was released from the International Space Station ISS on Thursday October 4. The satellite came to life according to plan 60 minutes later and has now demonstrated the function of ÅAC’s pioneering miniaturized electronics for low cost satellites by sending down data.

The Uppsala based company ÅAC Microtec has made a breakthrough in the US by a successful demonstration of NASA’s test satellite called TechEdSat, which was separated from the International Space Station ISS on October 4, 2012. The satellite was constructed in less than 4 months by a team from NASA Ames Research Center, San Jose State University and ÅAC Microtec.What makes TechEdSat unique is that NASA uses electronics from Swedish ÅAC Microtec for control and operation of the satellite. Normally the countries only exchange scientific instruments and data. ÅAC Microtec was chosen for its innovative architecture and product portfolio for autonomous systems, which is based on plug-and-play protocols, and the company’s leading electronics integration ability.“That NASA chooses to try out our computers and power supply systems for its future satellites is of course unique in the world and proof of the technological excellence we have in Sweden and the high international standing that the Swedish National Space Board has as a technology and innovation engine,” says Fredrik Bruhn, Vice President and responsible for business development at ÅAC Microtec.The Swedish National Space Board and NASA closed a ten year collaboration agreement in June 2011 concerning the development, testing and use of small satellites, with the Uppsala based company ÅAC Microtec as the designated strategic supplier. The National Space Board and NASA makes equal investments in the respective country and share the end results on equal terms, with the task allocation that NASA handles trials and testing and the Swedish National Space Board supplies technology through ÅAC Microtec. 

“It’s a great honor and recognition of ÅAC’s expertise to be chosen as a partner in the development of the satellites and autonomous systems of the future. This gives us an additional boost to intensify our commercial efforts in the US,” says Kjell Bohlin, CEO at ÅAC Microtec.ÅAC is already busy building the next satellite demonstrator, a 10 kg (6U CubeSat) satellite that will be delivered to the US in the spring 2013 for launch and trial in the fall the same year.“The satellite that will be tested next year is focused on demonstrating advanced communications solutions and brings us to the size of commercial small satellites that will  really open up the space service market, for instance with machine – machine communication and what is called internet-of-things,” says Fredrik Bruhn, Vice President  and responsible for business development at ÅAC Microtec.

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