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UK company set to launch 200 nanosatellites

Written by Hannah McGrath
26/10/2018

A UK aerospace company has announced plans to launch 200 nano-satellites into the atmosphere above the equator, as part of plans to expand affordable communications services.

Sky and Space Global (SAS) has started the construction and integration phase of its network of satellites known as ‘Pearls’, with a view to sending the first cluster into orbit above the world’s equatorial regions in 2019. The nano-satellites will be deployed in a series of clusters until all 200 are operational by 2020.

The company successfully launched its first three nano-satellites, the ‘3 Diamonds’, into space in June 2017.

SAS, which is listed on the Australian ASX stock exchange, has signed a number of Memorandum of Understanding agreements with international telecom partners, which it expects to convert into commercial agreements to provide voice, data, instant messaging and Internet of Things (IoT) communications.

The SAS satellites will also offer countries in the equatorial region communications networks that could facilitate search and rescue services, emergency response, security alarms and recreational tracking, alongside mobile applications, smart farming, airplane, vessel and animal tracking.

The Critical Design Review (CDR) process for the Pearls nanosatellite network was completed by aerospace construction firm GomSpace, which builds and tests bespoke nanosatellites.

Meir Moalem, co-founder and chief executive of SAS, said the positive results from the CDR have served to validate the company’s technology and boost its strategy for providing connectivity to remote geographical regions.

“We have successfully completed the CDR with GomSpace, reaching another milestone and remaining on track for next year’s planned launch,” he said.