World’s first 1U Attitude and Orbit Control System, hits the global CubeSat market


AMSTERDAM, NL – July 30, 2019 – Backed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Netherlands Space Office via the ARTES programme, a brand new Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) miniaturised to 1U for the global CubeSat market brings capabilities to CubeSats, previously accessible only to large satellites.

Hyperion’s Attitude Determination and Control System has been combined with Dawn Aerospace’s high performance green bi-propellant propulsion module. Linked with Hiber’s automated constellation management software, this creates world-first 1U AOCS.

"As many SmallSat constellations target services related to telecommunications, IoT, asset or frequency monitoring, ESA Telecommunications welcomes this new development”, said Frank Zeppenfeldt, Technical Project Manager at ESA. “This AOCS takes into account emerging regulations related to SmallSat deployments and responsible use of orbital resources." 

“Being a responsible operator, constellation longevity with minimal impact on the space environment is extremely important for us,” said Erik Wienk, Hiber COO. “The new module means we can easily avoid space debris, increase CubeSat lifetime by raising orbit and perform complex orbital manoeuvres with low power usage, whilst keeping our constellation online and guaranteeing high customer service levels.”

Space debris is becoming a serious issue. With more than 250,000 pieces under 2cm currently untracked in low Earth orbit, risk of the Kessler syndrome is very real. By using high performance green bi-propellant propulsion, Hiber now have complete control of their satellite’s end-of-life, de-orbiting and burning up CubeSats in Earth’s atmosphere when they choose.

“The total size of the integrated AOCS has been brought down to 1U. It is revolutionary to the CubeSat market”, said Maarten Engelen, Hiber CTO. “There are alternatives out there, but nothing that suit a 3U CubeSat like this”. 

By choosing 3U form factor satellites, Hiber’s launch costs have halved. These savings allow Hiber to create a larger, faster, cheaper IoT network - passing benefits and savings back to customers. 

The technology was developed in partnership with Hyperion Technologies and Dawn Aerospace for Hiber’s next generation low power 3U small satellite IoT constellation.

The Hiber constellation will come online much faster and with much more capabilities than any other small satellite constellation. The use of high performance green bi-propellant propulsion and miniaturised components has been key.

“We were lucky that we found good partners with Hyperion Technologies and Dawn Aerospace, who managed to bring down the total size of the integrated ADCS / Propulsion module, down to 1U.” said Maarten.

“We believe the payload should dominate a satellite, and we focus our business on this,” said Bert Monna, Hyperion CEO. “Miniaturised components that deliver high performance like miniaturised reaction wheels, sun sensors and magnetorquers, give capabilities to nano satellites that the market has never seen before.” Similarly, Dawn’s green bi-propellent propulsion system offers thrust ~1,000x higher than electric propulsion based systems for CubeSats. 

Although developed for Hiber’s low power IoT SmallSat constellation, this technology is now being opened up for use in other small satellite constellations.

About Hiber 

Hiber is an Amsterdam based start-up founded in 2016 to provide global low cost / low power IoT connectivity. The company at present has a total team of 35. The company launched their first two satellites end of 2018 and is currently in the demonstration and validation phase. In parallel Hiber is working on the development of the second generation of the Hiber constellation. 

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.

Learn more about ESA at