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Constell'Actions n°10

May 2024

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Kinéis Constell'Actions is the monthly newsletter devoted to progress on the design and deployment of the Kinéis connectivity system for the Internet of Things (IoT). The first 5 nanosatellites have  arrived in New Zealand, along with part of the technical team for the campaign! At the same time, the integrated Kinéis-CNES teams successfully completed the dress rehearsal for the 5 satellite positioning operations. Meanwhile, production of the other 20 nanosatellites is continuing at the manufacturer. With just a few days to go before the first launch, the adrenalin is pumping through all our teams. Thanks to Constell'Actions, you can go behind the scenes of this adventure. Welcome on board and enjoy your reading!


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The 5 Kinéis nanosatellites are put into containers at Hemeria before their departure for New Zealand

The Kinéis and Hemeria teams have carried out the final configuration of the first 5 nanosatellites that will shortly be launched in New Zealand. This important stage involved final checks and settings on the software and hardware aspects of the satellites.

During the 'software' phase, all the parameters enabling the nanosatellite to perform its in-flight initialisation sequence correctly after separation from the launcher were loaded on board. These parameters will ensure that the first few hours of flight go as planned (in particular, its identifier and the visibility settings for the ground stations). The engineers have also checked that the on-board software versions are correct.

Before switching off the satellites, all their memories were cleaned (the information recorded during the last tests and the last hours of use not kept in flight), and their time was set to the date corresponding to the moment of their respective separation from the launcher.

For the hardware configuration, the teams connected the antennas to the radio frequency links and made a few adjustments to the MLI (the satellite's insulating gold cover).

The 5 nanosatellites were then stored before being placed in the special container used to transport them by cargo plane from Toulouse to Auckland.


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Kinéis nanosatellites received in a clean room at Rocket Lab

The batch 1 nanosatellites travelled by road and then by air from Toulouse to reach their final destination in Auckland, New Zealand. Their 7-day journey took them through Paris, Dubai, Singapore and Sydney. They were picked up and cleared through customs in Auckland by Rocket Lab, which took care of trucking them to the Mahia launch site on the east coast of the North Island.

At the launch site, Kinéis and Hemeria engineers checked the integrity of the container and the many boxes containing the ground equipment (electrical and mechanical), the condition of the shock detectors and the temperature/humidity sensors that had recorded the environmental conditions during the long journey, before carrying out a detailed and methodical inspection of the satellites. In the end, the satellites arrived at the launch site in perfect condition, and the GO was given to start campaign activities.

They began with a major phase involving 2 parallel activities: the tensioning of the solar generator cords, with control of the solar panel deployment mechanism harness, and then, in close collaboration with Rocket-Lab, the assembly of the interface rings between the nanosatellites and the launcher (the 'rings') to ensure their separation. This phase will end with the adjustment of the many MLIs (Multi Layer Insulation), which are the thermal protection covers on the satellites, an activity that is akin to haute couture, requiring real know-how and a great deal of handling of the satellite.

This is followed by the critical charging of the batteries, which concludes this preliminary satellite preparation phase, prior to the mechanical accommodation of the 5 satellites on the dispenser of the 3rd stage of the rocket and the installation of the umbilical-type harnesses between the rocket and the satellite.

The teams on site are mobilised to ensure the preparation and optimum configuration of the satellites in order to guarantee the best technical conditions for the launch and separation phase.


Next step: coupling of the 5 nanosatellites to the launcher's 3rd stage dispenser (under the fairing).



Teams at the Kinéis Command and Control Centre at CNES (French space agency) in Toulouse

The 1st dress rehearsal (RG) "Mise à Poste nominale" was organised at the Kinéis Control Centre, at CNES in Toulouse, over a period of 2 days, for a final check of ground resources, operational procedures and the proper preparation of the teams. All the entities involved in the launch on D-Day were mobilised, as were engineers from Hemeria, in charge of satellite development.

More than sixty people were mobilised to simulate the launch of the 5 nanosatellites, the first acquisition of their signals on the Kinéis ground station network and the activities of the first 2 days of the LEOP phase (Launch and Early Orbit Phase).

This requires flawless organisation in terms of preparing and setting up the ground resources and procedures that will be used during the LEOP, as well as in terms of the functional and decision-making chains, which must be clear and particularly fluid.

This successful meeting validated the very good level of preparation and coordination of all the teams and enabled us to embark calmly on the final activities before the 1st launch.


Next step: a final dress rehearsal, 1 week before the launch, to check the procedures for managing anomalies during the positioning of the 5 satellites.

Kinéis IOT Satellite

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Créé en 2018, Kinéis est un opérateur IoT satellitaire.

© kineis - IoT everywhere - 2023

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