Sector: Earth Observation
Number of satellites: 4
Form factor: 12 U
RODiO (Radar for Earth Observation by synthetic aperture DIstributed on a cluster of cubesats equipped with high-technology micro-propellers for new Operative services) is a new mission concept which combines the advantages of a sensor distributed onboard different CubeSats with those of a bistatic radar working with an illuminator of opportunity. It is a cluster of 4 CubeSats flying in formation with a bigger satellite (illuminator). The CubeSat cluster flies at a safe distance of tens of km from the illuminator, and formation-flying techniques are used to keep all the CubeSats in the cluster within an overall envelope of a few hundred meters.
Also, RODiO is a demonstrator of formation fast reconfiguration. Indeed, at the end of the mission, one CubeSat will fly far from other platforms. To achieve this, one of the CubeSat platforms is provided with a flight demonstrator of an innovative hybrid rocket propulsion unit.
RODiO mission concept is not limited to a space demonstration but delivers SAR data suitable for a commercial and a scientific downstream. Indeed, RODiO cluster is a single high performance bistatic system. However, differently from a larger monolithic system, RODiO is scalable, meaning the performance is in direct relation to the number of receivers.
Proposing team: Università di Napoli “Federico II” (Prime), Thales Alenia Space - Italia, Apogeo Space srl, Telespazio S.p.A., Technology For Propulsion and Innovation (T4i), ALI- Aerospace Laboratory for Innovative components S.c.a r.l., Euro.Soft srl, CNR-ISTEC, Techno System developments srl, SINTEMA Engineering srl