Deploying and operating U.S.-made battery for U.S. Space Force SBIR Program

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Spire and EnerSys® partnered to provide an innovative solution addressing an identified gap in U.S. Space Force Space System Command (SSC) space technology development portfolio.

Spire’s 3U LEMUR cubesatellite is providing a low-cost platform to test EnerSys® ZeroVolt™ 18650 battery cells in orbit.

Mission Overview

Traditional methods for testing technologies on-orbit can be expensive and time consuming, but on-orbit demonstration is a critical step to prove technology readiness.

SSC, through their Science and Technology Directorate (SSC/ZAD), awarded Spire this mission under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. This mission demonstrates the rapid integration and operation of science and technology experiments through Spire’s space-as-a-service model.


Solution

U.S. Space Force SSC selected Spire’s 3U cubesatellite platform to host ZeroVolt™ 18650 battery cells provided by EnerSys®. The Spire 3U cubesatellite provides a flexible, rapidly deployed, end to end testing platform for EnerSys® and SSC.

 

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Flexible

Spire’s space services addressed an identified gap in SSC’s space technology development portfolio, offering rapid integration and operations of experiments in an as a service model.

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Fast

Spire’s ability to assemble one satellite every 10 days plus a consistent launch schedule enabled the SSC satellite to go from design to launch in just 12 months.

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End-to-end Solution

Spire offered a complete solution including on site integration services, launch, FCC licensing, and on orbit checkout and ground station operations.

Results

In a period of 12 months, Spire integrated the high energy, long life EnerSys ZeroVolt™ Lithium-ion battery cells into a 3U cubesat and deployed it on orbit. The satellite has been operating nominally since July 2021 and is performing on-orbit experiments to collect payload performance data.

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