Latest News

NanoAvionics Wins US Science Contract from Los Alamos National Laboratory

By Mark Holmes | February 1, 2024

12U ESRA cubesat. Photo: NanoAvionics

Kongsberg NanoAvionics US (NanoAvionics) has secured a new contract from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). It will be the second satellite it has ordered from NanoAvionics. The company announced the deal, Jan. 31.

It will be part of LANL’s Experiment for Space Radiation Analysis (ESRA) mission in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). This will be one of the first cubesat’s to observe the energetic charged particles that populate the radiation belts. ESRA is the latest of a series of demonstration and validation (Dem Val) missions built by the LANL, with the focus of this mission on testing next generation charged particle sensors and critical flight subsystems. ESRA will be inserted GTO and make observations of the Earth’s dynamic radiation belts during the solar maximum.

“Partnering with the commercial sector, specifically NanoAvionics and KSAT, allows LANL technical staff to focus solely on the development of next generation technology and science payloads, while allowing industry partners to do what they do best. Leveraging commercial satellites and ground stations will allow LANL to rapidly mature technologies with reduced schedule, risk, and cost. The ESRA mission will demonstrate the capability of CubeSats for both science and space weather monitoring beyond low-Earth orbit and serve as a pathfinder for small satellites doing big science,” Carlos Maldonado, ESRA principal investigator, said, in a statement.