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NanoAvionics jumps on SpaceX to expand 5G, IoT space comms

Smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator’s craft expand two constellations with upcoming SpaceX Transporter-10 mission

Kongsberg NanoAvionics has announced that four of its manufactured satellites are going into orbit aboard the upcoming SpaceX Transporter-10 mission.

Driven by defence agencies and robust Asian demand for hardware and data services, around 26,104 smallsats – defined as satellites weighing less than 500kg – are set to be launched by 2032, representing a daily launch mass of 1.5 tonnes over the period, according to space sector and satellite-enabled vertical analyst Euroconsult.

In addition, the analyst’s The prospects for the small satellite market report calculates that the smallsat industry will accumulate around $110.5bn in market value over the next decade, driven by the replenishment cycles of constellations around the world, but also by more complex and costly single-satellite missions for government users.

Beginning life in 2014, NanoAvionics has completed over 120 projects in 50 countries. The company has a global team of close to 300 international professionals with dedicated facilities in Lithuania, the US and the UK.

NanoAvionics’s three customers on its latest rideshare mission are Luxembourg’s OQ Technology, the world’s first global satellite 5G internet of things (IoT) operator, Spanish Earth observation (EO) company Satlantis, and South Korea’s Contec, a ground station operator and service provider.

OQ Technology’s Tiger-7 and Tiger-8 nanosatellites are designed to expand the world’s first and largest 5G Narrowband IoT constellation in low Earth orbit (LEO) to 10 satellites. The two 6U nanosatellites constitute the fifth and sixth satellites NanoAvionics has manufactured for OQ Technology. All of OQ Technology’s constellation satellites can connect directly to off-the-shelf IoT devices and machines, and provide tracking and monitoring information.

The 16U Horacio satellite will be Satlantis’ third satellite embarking its iSIM-90 imager into space. Its high-resolution data will give insights for multiple EO applications, such as infrastructure monitoring, methane gas emissions quantification, food security, and coastal and border awareness.

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The project with Contec is designed to enable the company to produce customised satellite imagery for their customers. The CONTECSAT-1 satellite is aimed at companies and organisations requiring data for maritime environments, city management and agriculture. The 16U nanosatellite has an integrated multispectral imager supplied by a NanoAvionics partner with 1.5m resolution.

Commenting on the deployments, Žilvinas Kvedaravičius, Kongsberg NanoAvionics CEO, said: “The ongoing satellite production for existing customers is also an endorsement and validation of the high-quality and cost-effectiveness of our products and services. As a result, NanoAvionics has successfully launched more nanosatellites in the past five years than any other external manufacturer in the world, and we see a surging demand for our microsatellite buses, too.”

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