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Elecnor Deimos launches its first maritime surveillance satellite

Elecnor Deimos launches its first maritime surveillance satellite

The Neptune CubeSat was totally designed and built by the Deimos Satellite Systems team in Puertollano, Spain. The primary structure of the satellite has been manufactured completely from thermoplastics using 3D printing

Madrid, 1 july 2021

Neptuno, the prototype satellite by Elecnor Deimos was launched on SpaceX Falcon 9 on its second dedicated mission, Transporter-2, on Tuesday 29 June at 20:56 CEST, from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The companies DHV and AEROUM also participated in the development of the project which has had backing from the Spanish Government’s national security authorities as key users. This is the first Elecnor Deimos satellite that is completely dedicated to maritime surveillance and it is the first step towards building a constellation for the provision of services for users and maritime authorities.

Neptuno will respond to current and future challenges in maritime security by experimentally developing the design and prototype of a constellation of nanosatellites (CubeSats) in a low orbit or LEO (Low Earth Orbit – at an altitude of between 200 and 2,000 km), with an advanced information system capable of analysing millions of pieces of data gathered by ground stations using artificial intelligence technologies. NEPTUNE’s intelligent system will be able to detect potentially unlawful behaviour patterns and will assign risk profiles to each vessel. It will also have an automatic alarm system which will warn of potentially unlawful activities in real time as they happen.

This is an R&D project which will develop innovative technologies such as 3D printing, the use of new materials such as ULTEM®, artificial intelligence and intelligent sensorisation. It has been designed and built by the Deimos Satellite Systems team in Puertollano, Spain.

This development has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014-2020 which is managed by the Spanish public organisation CDTI, the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial), with the aim of promoting research, technological development and innovation. The ESA supports the launch phase and the initial operations, up to the end of the start-up phase, through its GSTP FLY programme.


About Elecnor Deimos

Elecnor Deimos, the technological branch of Elecnor, is a European space systems engineering group which was founded in 2001 and has 400 employees. It is based in Spain and has subsidiaries in five countries. 

Elecnor Deimos has developed numerous space technologies and tools as a result of over 500 contracts with the ESA, NASA and other agencies. In addition to engineering work, the company has developed and provides operational infrastructure services, both in space and on the ground, for the monitoring and reception of satellite data and for the DEIMOS Sky Survey.

The success story of Elecnor Deimos in the fields of R&D, engineering, industrial integration and services based on space and ground-based operations, led the group to create a business strategy to turn it into a NewSpace end-to-end service company encompassing the design and integration of small satellites, the development and operation of microlauncher subsystems, the operation of Earth observation satellites, the sale of data, and end-user applications and services.