How a satellite-based IP communications network went from concept to real-world testing in 6 months

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Orbitare’s new satellite-based data transport network needed a flexible and established infrastructure for its crucial testing phase. Orbitare teamed up with Spire Space Services to leverage our in-space software – defined satellite platform to deliver on this task.

SPACELOOP delivers IP messaging, email and file transfer to users anywhere in the world, even places where terrestrial networks are inaccessible, such as at sea or in mountainous regions.

By leveraging Spire’s nanosatellite platform, Orbitare was able to successfully launch their demonstration missions at an accelerated pace and a fraction of the cost.

A growing need to connect anywhere on Earth

Instantaneous communication has become a basic need which, for those working and traveling in remote areas, is difficult to obtain. Mariners, polar explorers, journalists, NGO workers, and a growing segment of adventure travelers need a new way to connect, no matter where they are.

SPACELOOP’s application helps people stay connected using IP messaging—a low-data type of communication which requires a simple network, yet is still equipped to send both messages and files whenever needed. What the project was missing was an existing infrastructure in space which they could use to support the testing and development of the application.

“Spire’s Space Services have made possible the In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) mission of SPACELOOP in less than six months, from contract signature to the commencement of testing. Our next cooperative challenge is accelerating market entry by leveraging the opportunities that Spire’s extensive fleet of satellites provides to Orbitare.”

Luis Muñoz
Luis Muñoz
Managing Director | Orbitare

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Solution – Spire’s unique proposition

Spire’s modular, reconfigurable, and expandable satellite platform offered SPACELOOP the crucial testing and expansion capabilities they were looking for, using a dual mission approach.

on-orbit software option illustration

Mission 1: April 2021

SPACELOOP software deployed to Spire’s on-orbit network for testing

satellite hosted payloads illustration

Mission 2: June 2021

Orbitare launched a hosted payload with Spire’s end-to-end service, bringing together the satellite platform, the scheduled launch and the global ground segment.

Results – accelerated innovation using Spire’s flight-proven platform

The success of the two missions has allowed Orbitare to begin testing in space in less than half a year. They can now focus on rapid entry into the market—using a more circular, sustainable, and practical model.

Download the case study to learn more about the innovation behind the partnership, and what it means for the space economy.

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