KEPLER COMMUNICATIONS, Canada’s pioneering satellite communications company, today has announced they have contracted ISL to manifest their first launch on-board an Indian polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV), scheduled to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in November 2017. The mission will be purposed as a technology demonstration mission for Kepler’s novel Ku-band SDR and high gain antenna. The announcement comes on the back of the successful launch of the PSLV on 14 February 2017, carrying a record breaking 104 satellites in a single launch.1
INNOVATIVE SPACE LOGISTICS is leader in small satellite mission, launch, research & development, and operations. Headquartered in Delft, the Netherlands, ISL has launched over 75 satellites since its founding in 2006.
“We love being able to partner and work with these early-stage and rapidly growing startup space companies”, says Jeroen Rotteveel, CEO of ISL. He continues, “we take a tremendous amount of pride in ensuring we can share our expertise for these new companies and create successful missions together.”
Kepler CEO Mina Mitry adds “Any mission is important, but doubly-so for the inaugural flight. We are taking all measures to ensure a successful mission and ISIS, through ISL, offered the best solutions for achieving success. We are more than excited to work with ISL and their outstanding team as we prepare for flight.”
While the mission is specifically focused on a technology demonstration, Mitry sees the historic significance of this flight. “This flight will be the first commercial LEO communications satellite to operate in Ku-band, a coveted band within the communications service provider world. With the increasing interest in mega LEO constellations, being the first company to actually bring this spectrum into use is a major step forward for Kepler.”
Mina Mitry, Kepler CEO
Jeffrey Osborne, Kepler VP Business Development
Ku-band is a highly competitive part of the radiofrequency spectrum between 12-18 GHz, used predominantly for satellite communications. The combination of high bandwidth, non-detrimental rain fade, low-sized antennas, and low-cost components makes it an ideal choice for high bandwidth communications. This part of the spectrum is used largely for satellite IP connectivity and satellite TV. In recent years, the push to terrestrial 5G technologies has drastically reduced the cost and improved the power efficiency of off-the-shelf Ku-band RF components. This, coupled with the reduced volume needed for components makes it an appealing choice for nanosatellite communication services where size, power, and cost are highly constrained.
Kepler Communications is a satellite communications company that is building an in-space telecommunications network for space-borne assets. This infrastructure will resolve the problem of intermittent connectivity for non-geostationary satellites, will open new business opportunities that necessitate real-time connectivity to satellites, and will reduce reliance on costly and difficult to deploy ground infrastructure. To reach this long-term objective, tangible shorter-term milestones are planned in order to incrementally and sustainably develop the technology to execute on this vision.
Innovative Space Logistics
Founded in 2006 as a spin-off from the Delfi-C3 nanosatellite project from Delft University of Technology, ISL is the launch services branch of Innovative Solutions in Space, which focuses on solutions involving satellite systems in the range of 1 to 30 kg. This includes microsatellites, miniaturized payload systems, and miniaturized satellite components. To-date, ISL has launched over 75 satellites from 5 globally located launch sites. With offices in the Netherlands and South Africa, ISIS works closely with technology partners, supplies, and space companies to achieve mission success.