In collaboration with Orbital Micro Systems
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IOD-1 GEMS was the first IOD mission to be awarded in collaboration with Orbital Micro Systems (OMS). OMS are a leader in developing advanced instrumentation for small satellites that gather weather data more frequently and with better clarity than the large institutional satellites currently in use.
In a little over 18 months, IOD-1 GEMS went from initial concept to space, with successful delivery of the satellite to the International Space Station on 19th April 2019 and deployment on 3 July 2019. Designed by Orbital Micro Systems (OMS), the Passive Microwave Sounder instrument is less than a quarter of the size and over 70kg lighter than the existing equivalent, which in turn has reduced deployment costs by 95 percent.
Following delivery to the mission launch provider, Nanoracks, in February 2019, IOD-1 GEMS was launched into orbit onboard the NG-11 Cygnus resupply mission to the International Space Station on 17th April 2019. The satellite was deployed on 3rd July 2019 and we began receiving data on 20th July, following two weeks of commissioning tests.
IOD-1 GEMS was used to capture the right image of Super Typhoon Hagibis in October 2019, these were the only observations captured during a 10-hour gap between government satellites. This showed the collapse of the eye-wall, a sign of significant strengthening just hours before the storm approached the Japan coast.
A strong team of mission analysts and ground station specialists based at the Satellite Applications Catapult are currently supporting IOD-1 GEMS, we will continue to supply data to OMS until the satellite prepares for de-orbit later this year as part of its natural life cycle. Some sample data sets from the satellite are available for download on the OMS website.
Mission Status: Complete
April 17 2021 marked the second anniversary of the first in-orbit demonstration launch. The IOD-1 mission has surpassed all expectations and received a series of mission extensions, far exceeding the scheduled nine months.
The consortium plans to release telemetry data from the mission for the benefit of students and satellite companies. By sharing the experience through data, the Catapult fosters future innovation in space.