Welcome to your weekly newsletter from satsearch
In these emails we share trending stories from the industry along with insights from our work building the global marketplace for space. Let's dive in and take a look at some of the developments that caught our eye in the last week.
Hughes and OneWeb to provide satellite broadband services in India from mid-2022
Hughes and OneWeb will roll out satellite broadband services in India from mid-2022, under the joint venture Hughes Communications India Pvt Ltd (HCIPL).
The companies have signed a distribution agreement to provide space-based connectivity services across India for a term of six years. India’s Bharti Group is one of the leading investors in OneWeb and the company’s focus on India will enhance space-based connectivity services that could have various downstream benefits.
Considering OneWeb’s prime services for enterprise and commercial sectors, HCIPL is primarily focused on serving government and defense organizations as well as stakeholders in telecom services, banks, aviation, and maritime markets. Find out more here.
We recently shared the news that Starlink's management was required to refund a number of customers in India as SpaceX had not yet secured the required licenses needed to operate, so it is interesting to see OneWeb's progress in the country.
OneWeb's focus is slightly different as mentioned - while Starlink is targeting mostly retail users, OneWeb is focussing on the governmental and commercial markets. But the two sectors will overlap considerably, and competition may shift from first-mover advantage to technical superiority.
Airbus to supply more than fifteen Arrow satellite platforms to Loft Orbital
Airbus’ Arrow satellite platform is widely used by OneWeb, and now Loft Orbital has signed an agreement with Airbus to procure fifteen Arrow satellite platforms.
Loft Orbital has further contracted Airbus to customize the Arrow satellite platform to better suit the company’s wide range of missions and applications.
The modifications to the initial few platforms include changes in engineering, qualification, test, and production as well as further development will be carried out by Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS). Find out more here.
There are currently 394 Airbus Arrow platforms in orbit as the OneWeb constellation, with a further 254 in production to complete the 648 spacecraft required by OneWeb.
While these models are heavily standardized, this contract demonstrates the use of the Arrow platform as an adaptable workhorse system; Loft Orbital's requirements are more diverse as the company works to offer end-to-end payload hosting services.
With more payload innovations coming to market, and many others maturing each year, such platforms have a growing opportunity. We're seeing such innovations in many areas, as our next story shows.
G&H wins EUR 2 million ESA contract to develop next-generation optical amplifiers for satellite-ground communication
G&H’s next-generation optical amplifiers are designed to enable multi-Tbit/s free space optical communication links (FSOC) for satellite and ground stations.
The contract is a part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Extremely Powerful Optical Sources (EPOS) R&D project and is funded by the ESA Scylight framework - a program designed to support research, development, and evolution of optical communication.
It is expected that G&H’s expertise in fiber optic networks will add value to this project and help to pave the way for the development of new state-of-the-art optical amplifiers to meet the demands of very high data rate applications. Find out more here.
Innovation in optical communication is one of the key trends that many have observed in the NewSpace sector. Higher data rates enable faster, more efficient, and more versatile applications and constellations, which can open up new business models or service concepts, while improving legacy solutions.
Such advances also have a downstream impact - optical comms solutions for example have precise pointing requirements, leading to a growth in demand for more advanced ADCS products. Similarly, new platforms and payloads are seeing a growth in demand for launchers, with more new options likely to come to market in the next decade.
Hypersonix Launch Systems developing a reusable launch system powered by green hydrogen
Australia-based Hypersonix Launch Systems is aiming to deliver small satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) using a reusable launch system powered by green hydrogen.
The company’s reusable vehicle will be composed of a three-stage launch system - the Delta Velos Orbiter and the Boomerang first-stage booster, both of which are reusable.
The use of environmentally-friendly technologies is increasing in the space industry; signalling the gradual development of sustainable and clean energy for future space missions.
The Hypersonix Launch System is an early entrant in this segment, with a key focus on the technical development of a reusable launch system powered by green hydrogen. Find out more here.
Commercial space projects and innovations today are hugely ambitious, with companies aiming to produce new products and services at a scale that wasn't possible even 10 years ago. And as governments and agencies around the world witness the progress by the private sector, many are producing programs to both boost and involve businesses in their own work.
India to boost the participation of non-government private entities (NGPE) for space activities
The wave of privatization in the space industry has successfully helped several emerging nations to boost their respective space resourcebase.
India is one country currently attempting to shape an ecosystem flexible enough to accommodate more private players, in order to strengthen the commercial pillars of its space sector.
Recently, the country approved the participation of more Non-government private entities (NGPE) in end-to-end space activities.
This move will potentially help the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to tap into the capacity-building verticals of the commercial space industry for many new missions and programs. Find out more here.
Some of the latest stories and achievements by companies around the world that take part in the satsearch membership program:
EnduroSat and SayariLabs signed MoU for the first Kenyan 3U software-defined NanoSat
TAIFA-1, Kenya’s first 3U software-defined nanosat will be produced and developed by satsearch member EnduroSat and SayariLabs. Kenya is an emerging nation working on laying a foundation for its commercial space sector. The country launched its first satellite, 1KUNS-PF (developed and assembled by the University of Nairobi), in 2018. This achievement set Kenya on a commercial space path and also made it one of the first sub-Saharan nations to deploy a nano-satellite in orbit. With its recent agreement with EnduroSat, Kenya will extend its arm into software-defined satellites. This software-defined nano-satellite will carry an Earth Observation (EO) payload capable of providing solutions for environmental, wildlife, agricultural monitoring, and land use mapping. Find out more here.
Epsilon3 raises US$2.8 million in the pre-seed round
Satsearch member Epsilon3’s mission to bring greater simplicity and efficiency to space operations and complex engineering processes has received a significant boost through new financing. The company has successfully raised US$2.8 million in the pre-seed round from multiple investors; Stage Venture Partners and MaC Venture Capital, as well as new investors Lux Capital, Village Global, Y Combinator, Pioneer Fund, Soma Capital, and Broom Ventures. With the pre-seed round funding, Epsilon3 aims to expand its product and team to further strengthen its software platform. Find out more here.
arcsec joins the satsearch membership program
We are very pleased to announce that arcsec has joined the satsearch membership program. arcsec is an attitude determination and control system (ADCS) manufacturer based in Belgium. The company is a spin-off from KU Leuven University and provides attitude determination and control systems, including fully autonomous ADCS solutions and standalone star trackers and reaction wheels. Find out more about arcsec here on their satsearch supplier hub.
SatRevolution to design satellite for Oman's first deep space mission
The Sultanate of Oman has signed an MoU with Virgin Orbit to launch a satellite to capture high-resolution imagery and other data for research into climate change, natural disasters, and the surfaces of other planets in the solar system. Satsearch member SatRevolution is to design the satellite for the project, with TUATARA and ETCO providing computer vision, machine learning, and AI solutions to analyze the satellite’s data. Read more here.
The applications of deployables – with DcubeD
Deployable components and sub-systems can play a variety of mission-critical roles in space missions. In a new article with satsearch member DcubeD we discuss this interesting and diverse class of technology: you can read the article here.
The article touches on the range of applications for which deployables can be used, as well as some of the integration and testing considerations that engineers need to be aware of in order to utilize them. It also covers a number of missions and use cases of DcubeD's technology.
The Groundstation.Space space industry map of the Netherlands 2022
The space industry in the Netherlands is growing into one of the pillars of the Dutch high-tech sector. Groundstation.Space has put together a map of the Dutch space industry 2022, featuring satsearch, to map this industry. Take a look here.