AKA: Spectrum Astro. Location: Gilbert, Arizona.
Company begun in late 1980's to enter small satellite business. Original location Manhattan Beach, CA.
Mightysat 2.1, also known as Sindri, used a Spectrum Astro SA-200B satellite bus. The spacecraft carried a hyperspectral imager for earth imaging and spectroscopy, as well as satellite technology experiments such as advanced solar arrays. An Aerospace Corp./DARPA picosatellite experiment, consisting of two small boxes connected by a deployable tether, was deployed later. Similar picosats were deployed on the previous Minotaur launch in January 2000.
HESSI, the sixth Small Explorer, carried a rotating modulation collimator transform telescope, imaging solar flares in the hard X-ray spectrum. The launch marked the return to flight of Pegasus after the Hyper-X failure. The launch was originally to have occurred on 28 March 2001. The L-1011 launch aircraft took off at 19:29 GMT from the Cape Canaveral Skid Strip RW30/12, and headed out to the drop area at 28.0 N 78.5 W over the Atlantic. Drop of the Pegasus in the Atlantic Drop Zone at 28.0 N 78.5 W was at 20:58 GMT, with ignition 5 seconds later. The Pegasus reached orbit at 21:07 GMT. On the first pass it was confirmed that the solar panels had opened.
The satellite rotated at 15 rpm, imaging by reconstructing the Fourier components from the time modulation of the solar x-ray flux through a set of 9 grids each 9 cm in diameter. It was expected to make images with a resolution of 2 arcseconds at 40 keV energies and 36 arcseconds at 1 MeV energies. The launch delays meant that HESSI missed some of the best flares at solar max. Air dropped in Mayport DZ.
Coriolis was an Air Force Space Test Program three-year meteorological science mission to demonstrate the viability of using polarimetry to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction from space, and to demonstrate predictions of geomagnetic disturbances through continuous observation of Coronal Mass Ejections. Launch delayed from August 22, November 15, December 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2002 and January 5, 2003.
Near Field Infrared Experiment conducted by the US Missile Defense Agency. Its Track Sensor Payload included visible and short, medium and long wave infrared sensors to observe missiles launched from the ground, and obtain basic data to distinguish between the missile and its hot rocket exhaust plume for application to anti-ballistic missile systems. Secondary payloads included Tesat, a German laser communications terminal, and its hydrazine propulsion system. This was used to maneuver the satellite from its initial 255 km x 465 km x 48.2 deg orbit to 489 km x 497 km by 18 May. The orbit was changed to 243 km x 487 km on 9 August and by 23 August was 219 km x 450 km. The satellite had a dry mass of 380 kg dry, was 2.7 m long and 1.3 m in diameter.
The first major sensor test occurred when Minotaur II rocket TLV-7, was fired at 08:30 GMT on 23 August from Vandenberg in NFIRE Mission 2a. The Minotaur II was aimed to pass within 4 and 20 km of the NFIRE satellite while its third stage motor burning, to allow NFIRE to get a close look at the rocket and its exhaust. The Missile Defense Agency reported that the experiment was successful.