HERNDON, VA, HawkEye 360 Inc. announced that its “cluster 3” satellites have arrived at their launch site at Cape Canaveral. The trio of second-generation HawkEye 360 satellites, each containing a radio frequency (RF) payload developed by HawkEye 360, is due to launch in June aboard Spaceflight Inc.’s SXRS-5 mission.
Cluster 3 will join HawkEye 360’s The Cluster 2 and Cluster 1 Pathfinder satellites are in orbit, further expanding the company’s base constellation. The latest satellites will significantly expand the constellation’s current collection capacity and reduce the percentage of repeat visits. Seven additional next-generation clusters – fully funded and scheduled to launch in 2021 and 2022 – will complete the base constellation, allowing a revisit rate of up to 20 minutes to support time-sensitive defense, security and commercial applications. .
Cluster 2, which launches in January, and Cluster 3 are significantly more powerful than the company’s first research cluster, the Pathfinder Cluster. Starting with Cluster 2, this new generation of satellites processes data at a faster speed and is equipped with enhanced software-defined radio stations (SDRs) that can simultaneously collect a wide range of frequencies. The overall system is designed to produce faster and more accurate geolocations. In addition, Cluster 3 includes capabilities for in-orbit investigations that will help design a roadmap for future feature additions.
The HawkEye 360 constellation detects, characterizes and precisely geolocates a wide range of RF signals from emitters such as VHF marine radios, UHF push-to-talk radios, marine and ground-based radars. L-band satellite devices and emergency beacons. The company processes and analyzes this RF data to provide useful information and a unique layer of knowledge about national, tactical and national security operations, maritime domain awareness, environmental protection and a growing number of new applications, especially in the commercial sector.