Adelaide based satellite company Fleet Space Technologies has launched the first two of its planned fleet of 100 commercial nanosatellites and two demonstration satellites to test its communications technology.
Its first commercial satellite, Centauri I, was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation and Centauri II by Space X. Its two experimental satellites, Proxima I & II were launched by Rocket Labs on 11 November.
All the satellites were built by Pumpkin Space Systems in the US and are being tracked with ground station support from Leaf Space.
Fleet Space told IoTAustraliathat the Proxima I and II satellites were a pair of identical 1.5 U CubeSats designed by Fleet Space Technologies containing “new generations of the software defined radios used by Fleet to demonstrate their satellites’ capability to act as a dedicated Internet of Things (IoT) space network,” and were “successfully completing their duties, laying the groundwork for the Centauri launches as planned.
Fleet Space says the Centauri satellites will form a constellation of low earth orbit satellites connecting a global network of connected sensors and devices. It claims one satellite has the ability to cover 90 percent of the Earth.
Fleet Space satellites do not communicate directly with ‘things’ but via LoRaWAN gateway/satellite modem/edge computing devices that can support up to 1000 sensors over a radius of 15kms.
Fleet Space’s plan is to have five satellites in each of 20 low earth orbits at a height of 580kms by 2020 or 2021, depending on how fast it can secure launch services, and about 12 ground stations to route traffic to and from the satellites.
Its system does not support real-time communication: the satellites hold data from the LoRaWAN gateways until they come within range of a ground station.
Security from Cog Systems
Earlier this year Fleet Space announced it had partnered with Sydney-based Cog Systems to secure its satellite-connected IoT devices.
Cog Systems said Fleet would deploy its D4 secure platform on devices to provide proactive kernel protection, radio isolation for satellite communications, and a VPN tunnel to ensure secure data transport.
Fleet Space CEO, Flavia Tata Nardini said the company had been drawn to Cog’s D4 Secure platform because of its ability to use modularity to isolate critical functions on IoT devices.
“They are the perfect partner to increase device security as we focus on building the technology that will become the digital nervous system for our planet,” she said.