Rocket Lab unveils new constellation-class star tracker for commercial use

The new star tracker can be mass produced to meet the short lead times of commercial and government satellite constellation projects, allowing for more accurate tracking of satellites.

Rocket Lab unveils new constellation-class star tracker for commercial use

Rocket Lab USA Inc., a satellite launch company, has introduced a new type of star tracker that is intended for commercial purposes. This product expands Rocket Lab's line of space systems products for the global market of satellites.

Rocket Lab (Nasdaq : RKLB), said that the ST-16HV, designed to support large constellations, was an attitude determination sensor which helps control the orientation. It is based on Rocket Lab's high-performance ST-16RT2 tracker.

The company stated that the new design results in an affordable star tracker, which can be mass-produced to meet the needs of commercial satellite constellation projects and government projects with short lead times. The ST-16HV, which uses the same electrical interface, electronics, and mechanical design of the heritage star tracker can be used as an alternative small satellite solution for constellations and satellites in low-Earth orbit.

In a press release, Brad Clevenger said that the new star tracker would be a game changer in meeting the increasing demand of satellite constellation customers. It will be manufactured at the Sinclair facility by Rocket Lab, where we also mass produce reaction wheels.

Rocket Lab's ST-16HV startracker is the latest satellite component that the company has released this year. It follows the release in February of the Frontier X satellite radio, and the constellation-class 12-Nms reaction wheels assembly.

Rocket Lab's heritage space systems components include radios, separation systems (reaction wheels), flight software, ground-software, and solar power systems.

Rocket Lab, based in Long Beach, California, said that it had more than 100 stars trackers orbiting the Earth, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Mandrake 1 & Mandrake 2 satellites, and Rocket Lab’s own designed and built Lunar Photon Spacecraft. This spacecraft supported NASA’s Artemis Program, which delivered the Cislunar Automatic Positioning System Technology Operation and Navigation Experiment CubeSat into orbit around the moon.