Orbitare Selects Spire’s Orbital Service to Launch Their Innovative IP Communications Service
Two missions of the in-orbit demonstrator of Spaceloop will go to orbit in April and June 2021 onboard Spire satellites
Orbitare, an innovative start-up developing Internet Protocol (IP) communications over their own satellite network, and Spire Global, one of the world’s largest space-powered Earth Information companies, announced the execution of an agreement to begin deploying Orbitare’s Spaceloop on Spire’s nanosatellite constellation starting with a dual-mission in-orbit validation of its communications protocols.
Spaceloop is Orbitare’s personal satellite communication network in Low Earth Orbit developed and built in Europe and designed to deliver IP messaging, email and file transfer capabilities to any location in the world, at the most affordable price and ease of use. Spaceloop aims at keeping people always safe and connected, and will allow Orbitare to provide services dedicated to both personal safety – be it at sea, in the mountains or wherever the land network may not be accessible – and to fulfil the growing need for connectivity for social and professional reasons. The development of Spaceloop is co-funded by the Government of Luxembourg within the Luxembourg National Space Programme LuxIMPULSE, which aims at providing funding to help companies established in Luxembourg to bring innovative ideas to market. The programme is managed by the Luxembourg Space Agency and implemented by the European Space Agency. The early demonstrator missions will leverage Spire’s advanced Software Defined Radios (SDRs) infrastructure to host Orbitare’s Spaceloop communications protocols as early as April 2021. Following its success, both companies are looking into further expansion of the Spaceloop service across other satellites in the Spire constellation which will facilitate early and fast access to market and further increase the reach of Orbitare’s satellite fleet.
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“We are proud to partner with Spire on the development and deployment of Spaceloop. Our teams are enthusiastically working together to get the demonstration mission of Spaceloop rapidly into space”, said Luis Muñoz, founder and Managing Director of Orbitare. “Thanks to Spire’s Orbital Services, the deployment of our commercial services will be significantly accelerated, allowing Orbitare to reach our customers at a much earlier stage. Moreover, running Spaceloop on Spire’s satellites and ground stations gives Orbitare access to a much larger footprint at no additional capital expenditure. This partnership gives us a level of flexibility that is hard to find in the market.”
In April 2021, Spire will host Spaceloop’s communication software on a software-defined radio (SDRs) on board one of the in-orbit Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver (LEMUR) 3U satellites in a unique approach to space that will allow Orbitare the early start of live communication tests.
By June 2021, Spire will fly Orbitare’s first full-duplex Spaceloop communications payload, developed also in cooperation with Orbitare, to showcase additional comms capabilities. The demonstration program will use Orbitare’s reference end-user terminals and a gateway located in Luxembourg. Spire will manage all satellite operations through its Missions Operation System and Orbitare will access the payload through an easy-to-use customer API.
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With this partnership Spire commercializes a new Space as a Service subscription model allowing Orbitare to implement its mission at competitive price and without heavy upfront capital expenditure. Spire’s Orbital Services monthly payment plan benefits their customers by reducing high upfront expenditures, enabling predictable service charges distribution, and allows an easier extension of the service provision beyond the lifecycle of the hardware.
“We are extremely proud to host Orbitare’s Spaceloop service and use our Orbital Services to provide them the resources they need in space, on the ground and in the cloud. With our technical and operational expertise paired with a simplified service model we assure Orbitare the fastest, easiest, and most reliable access to Space and roadmap for growth,” said Theresa Condor, GM Orbital Services, Spire Global.
This commercial agreement between Orbitare and Spire demonstrates broad collaboration and innovation capabilities offered within the growing New Space community in Luxembourg, of which both companies are part.