Creotech Instruments has inked a deal worth EUR 400,000 with OHB System AG for the design of a satellite project utilizing its proprietary HyperSat platform. The company joins an international consortium led by OHB, tasked with carrying out an innovative European Space Agency mission to refuel a satellite in Earth’s orbit. Creotech’s satellite will execute docking maneuvers and then receive a fuel transfer from a larger satellite. The mission timeline anticipates the satellite’s deployment into orbit in the latter half of 2026. This marks the first project where a mission’s principal coordinator on ESA’s behalf has selected the HyperSat platform by Creotech as a critical component for its space mission. This project is aligned with the company’s strategic vision for HyperSat’s commercialization, set to undergo space condition testing during the EagleEye mission this year.
Creotech Instruments’ satellite forms a part of the “Preliminary design of in-space transportation proof of concept-1: In-Orbit rendezvous and docking-phase-B1.” As a consortium member, Creotech will be tasked with developing a satellite based on the HyperSat platform. This project commenced in early 2024 and is expected to last approximately 5 months. Following this phase, discussions with ESA will proceed to finalize a contract for the construction of the designed satellite, aiming for a launch in H2 2026.
“Designing a satellite around 60 kg in weight using our HyperSat microsatellite platform follows from years of development and the high-level of expertise we have. It is noteworthy that OHB, after conducting a market survey, entrusted us with this crucial project component. The mission will showcase the capability for an orbital fuel transfer from a refueling satellite to the client satellite we designed. Responsibility for the refueling satellite design falls to Berlin Space Technology GmbH, while OHB System AG – a leading and prestigious German company specializing in space technology and systems – will oversee the entire system’s design. This collaboration will foster a valuable exchange of knowledge and enhance Creotech’s visibility in the European market, aligning with our ambition to become a leading provider of microsatellite technology for defense and commercial projects across the EU,” stated Grzegorz Brona, PhD, President of the Management Board (CEO) of Creotech Instruments S.A.
The orbital fuel transfer mission is a component of the ESA Future Space Transportation Systems program, aiming to develop logistical systems for orbital maneuvers and services. The initiative seeks to prove that controlled deorbiting, cargo transport, and the transfer of micro spacecraft to medium and geostationary Earth orbits are feasible. Creotech’s satellite will execute docking maneuvers and then receive a fuel transfer from a larger satellite.
“For the ESA satellite project, we will incorporate a variety of solutions developed for the EagleEye satellite mission slated to launch in 2024, which is based on our HyperSat platform. The continued global market commercialization of this platform is crucial for our growth. The platform’s development, including its adaptation to accommodate satellites up to 200 kg, is a major investment focus. In October 2023, we successfully secured funding for these investments through a public offering. Participating in the pioneering refueling mission could enhance the lifespan of future satellite missions and broaden their scope to include more complex operations requiring substantial fuel consumption. We are part of a consortium laying the groundwork for future innovative space missions,” added Grzegorz Brona.
HyperSat is the first satellite platform in Poland, developed entirely by Polish engineers. Modular in design, it allows for the scalable design and production of satellites weighing from 10 kg to several dozen kilograms. These satellites serve various purposes, including image reconnaissance, telecommunications, and navigation from low Earth orbit. Creotech Instruments has been developing HyperSat since 2017 with the support of experts from the European Space Agency. The platform aligns with European design and construction standards for satellite systems (ECSS). The platform is the foundation of the EagleEye mission slated for 2024, and the PIAST mission, The company also plans to leverage it in strategic defense initiatives at national and European levels.
In July 2023, Poland made a strategic move to boost its national contribution to the ESA budget by an additional EUR 295m in 2023-2025. The mechanism of the national contribution to ESA allows for recouping almost all of the funds paid in the form of projects and orders from ESA for domestic companies. Over the past decade, Creotech has successfully executed more than 25 space projects in conjunction with ESA, thereby becoming one of the largest Polish contractors and the first choice in Central Europe for key Agency projects. The company is currently in talks with ESA regarding several other space missions, all based on its proprietary HyperSat microsatellite platform.