There were 2 cube shaped mini satellites which were launched by the DHS and S&T (Directorate of Science and Technology) last year. On December 3, 2018, these satellites were launched in the space. These satellites were launched using a rocket, Falcon 9 of SpaceX.
These mini- satellites were named as Kodiak and Yukon. These are not more than a shoebox in size. These easily squeezed in a twenty feet payload stack. There were already 62 other satellites in the same place. All these small satellites have started orbiting around the planet.
Polar Scout program of The DHS S&T was started almost 2 years ago. It was initiated to identify possible technology innovations for the present SAR infrastructure.
Since 1982, COSPAS- SARSAT has been used by mariners to stay connected with SAR. The system is helpful in carrying out approximately 41,000 rescue operations in the world. MEOSAR is still under the testing phase and is expected to be launched in the middle of 2020s. On the other hand, COSPAS- SARSAT might get out of service at any point of time. So to fill this gap Coast Guard and S&T were looking out for affordable, small and easily deploying satellites. These cube satellites served this purpose.
Jon McEntee, who is working as a director at S&T Immigration & Maritime, says that things are not constant in space. So we can’t wait till their failure, instead we should have a backup strategy, so that we can recover from the situation in case of failure.
The benefits of these small satellites are that they are easy to transport. These can be launched in bulk and are also economical. McEntee informed the cube satellites were manufactured within a short development cycle. These satellites are made up of the components available in the market, and there is no need to design components from the beginning.