Research In Outer Space: Facilitating access to space supporting scientific and technological advancement


Elena Giglio, D-Orbit Institutional Relations Manager, Italy

Matteo Bartolini, D-Orbit Launch Manager, Italy

ION Satellite Carrier

One of the biggest challenges in the research and innovation world is to address and push technology maturity by reducing time to market for the benefit of science and industry.
A goal also taken up by the European Space Strategy as a priority for a more competitive and innovative sector to push technology maturity for subsystems, equipment and technologies, including in-orbit demonstration and validation activities.
Containing and optimizing the launch and deployment costs of a space mission have pushed the upstream world to design satellites of reduced mass and size using smaller and less expensive launchers.
These new mini-satellites can be carried into orbit as Secondary Payload on ordinary launchers or as cargo, and then put into orbit by deployment.
D-Orbit is a first mover in the space logistics and transportation services industry with a track record of space-proven technologies and successful missions.
Founded in 2011, with flight heritage since 2013, the company has successfully flown over 70 payloads.
InOrbit NOW is a family of end to end solutions leveraging ION Satellite Carrier, an orbital transfer vehicle able to transport satellites in orbit and accommodate multiple third-party payloads requiring a test in orbit over the course of the same mission.

The platform is able to modify its own attitude, altitude, and local time of ascending node (LTAN) to quickly deploy CubeSats and microsatellites into precise and independent orbital slots, allowing customers to start their missions faster and in optimal operational conditions.
ION can host sensors and scientific instruments integrated within CubeSat-like structures to be operated in orbit, but it can acts also like a “service module” providing resources such as power, communications, and control.

ION features:
Faster Time-To-Revenues and positioning in target orbit;
Launch Cost Reduction: deploy a constellation in multiple orbits on a single mission;
Faster Time-To-Space: ride on the first available launcher;
Reduction In Number Of Satellites: ION replenishes constellations faster so there is less need for spare satellites;
Lower Manufacturing Cost: reduced need for propulsion decreases costs.
ION advanced services:
Backup Satellite for an existing constellation;
Integrating Satellite Services via Payloads Hosted on ION;
Satellite Communication Hub Services.
In-Orbit Validation and Demonstration (IOD/IOV);
In-Orbit Demonstration/Validation (IOD/IOV) enables the space research community to develop space technologies and test them in real-world conditions, accelerating TRL and technology maturation.
“In-Orbit demonstration/Validation (IOD/IOV) is a unique tool to boost industry’s competitiveness by eliminating the famous “valley of death” and accelerating the deployment of innovative technology. “This maturity level is crucial to enable the competitiveness, non-dependence and innovation of the European space sector” (European Commission).


Elena Giglio, D-Orbit

Ms Elena Giglio is “Institutional Relations Manager” at D-Orbit since Jan.2021. She graduated at University of Calabria on the 2009 and she holds a PhD at the Politecnico of Torino with a thesis on “Geopolitics on Rare Earth elements. Focus on Lithium”. Her professional career has been a mix of national and international experiences in different areas (both in the public and private sectors). While working in APRE from 2011 to 2018, she was appointed by the Ministry of Research and Education (MIUR) in Italy as National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 on SMEs and SPACE where she has been heavily involved in EU-related matters and acquired a profound familiarity with the processes of the European Commission and of other EU Institutions. She also managed and coordinated projects in three main areas: (1) “Technology Transfer and Internationalization”; (2) International/extra EU cooperation on R&I (eg such as the “Bilat projects” with Mexico, Argentina and Canada); (3) “Coordination and Support Action projects” to raising awareness about the R&I international opportunities.

Matteo Bartolini, D-Orbit

Mr. Matteo Bartolini is a launch manager in D-Orbit. He joined the company in 2019. Matteo was mission manager on the first three ION Satellite Carrier launch campaigns, he is also in charge of the mission management, the ION payload integration and the ESA ITT application. Before joining D-Orbit, he held several positions in the field of GNC and flight safety for launch vehicles, including several years at Rocket Lab, where he was in charge of the definition and verification of the system and subsystems requirements for the new Rocket Lab Launch Complex One in the Mahia peninsula (New Zealand). He was also responsible for the flight safety milestones documentation for FAA and NASA, and of the AFTS (Autonomous Flight Termination System) development and testing. Matteo holds a Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the Università La Sapienza, in Rome. He also completed a postgraduate Master course in civil aviation management from the same institution. Matteo is a an archer, a passionate scuba diver and certified drone pilot.

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