December 18, 2017

How does Arkyd-6 help develop future Planetary Resources spacecraft?


We are underway with the development of Planetary Resources’ next spacecraft platform – the Arkyd-301. Our latest completed spacecraft, the Arkyd-6, has helped create the technical framework for Arkyd-301. We expect to learn more once our Arkyd-6 spacecraft launches and enters into operation in early 2018.

After Arkyd-6 launches, we enter our initial operations phase in which we will access all of its critical functions such as power generation, power storage, two-way communication, attitude determination, attitude control, and instrument operation. The continued operation of Arkyd-6 will include comparing its on-orbit performance with predicted behaviors and will further validate and inform our company’s design philosophies for Arkyd-301.

One of the things that we are most excited about is our onboard mid-wave infrared imager, which will not only be able to produce interesting images of our planet but also generate valuable scientific data. Enormous effort and careful radiometric calibration will allow us to assign a physical value to each and every pixel. We are maturing this remote sensing capability for use on the Arkyd-301 platform with a more advanced scientific imager that will enable the collection of calibrated spectral data for use in detecting water signatures on other planetary bodies.

The lessons that we continue to learn from the development and operation of Arkyd-6 will help us move closer to our goal of providing in-space resources to fuel industry and sustain life beyond Earth.


Eric Blood
Arkyd-6 Project Lead
Planetary Resources