Pono is a Go! The first step in a broad collaboration between Privateer & Hawaiʻi Space Flight Lab
September 15, 2023
The first prototype of Pono, our edge computing and dynamic tasking payload developed redefine the life and utility of Earth-orbiting satellites, recently completed milestone environmental testing with the support of the Hawaiʻi Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL).
In close collaboration with Privateer’s engineers, HSFL’s equipment and technical expertise – including clean room access and aid in wiring and data acquisition from sensors – enabled successful vibrational and Thermal Vacuum Chamber testing of Pono’s ability to operate in space–like conditions.
“These facilities, technical guidance, and assistance are extremely valuable to have on a neighboring island,” said Matthew Lugo, one of our hardware engineers on the project. “If not for HSFL, we would have had to contract this out somewhere on the mainland, which would’ve come with a host of challenges such as increased burden of transportation, higher costs, and lengthier schedule.”
What’s the deal with Pono again?
You probably know Privateer as the space decision intelligence platform already leading object tracking and visualization through its public Wayfinder app. We recently announced that we’re also building an orbital network of globally accessible and actionable satellite data, mined for advanced insights with a suite of artificial intelligence software. Available to satellite operators as a hosted payload, Pono will deliver their data streams to a broad set of customers and empower businesses and individual developers to leverage them for new intelligence and applications.
Who are HSFL?
HSFL is embedded within the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology and affiliated with the College of Engineering at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Its staff of experienced faculty and engineers trains students in all aspects of mission design and spacecraft development, using research and project collaborations to impart specific skills that address the needs of local employers.
"As a multidisciplinary research and education center, our mission is to help develop and support the aerospace industry in Hawaiʻi through workforce development and establishing infrastructure,” HSFL Project Engineer Yosef Ben Gershom said. “Collaborations with local companies and groups such as Privateer are crucial to diversifying and growing our island economy."
Both parties envision the collaboration as a precursor to a continuing partnership, which could include future testing, technical reviews, and mutually growing the employment opportunities offered by – and the local talent base available for – aerospace and tech industries in the state of Hawaiʻi.