Clyde Space, Europe’s leading manufacturer of miniature satellites, has announced a partnership with California space company Audacy.
The Stanford University spin-off company is developing a constellation of relay satellites to provide non-stop, real-time communications coverage for commercial customers in the space industry, with services similar to NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS).
Clyde Space CEO Craig Clark MBE said: “Clyde Space is delighted to be supporting this forward-thinking organisation in developing their spacecraft and helping them to ultimately realise their vision of continuous space-based connectivity.”
Audacy will be establishing a network of data relay satellites to provide uninterrupted space connectivity, allowing customers to continuously access and monitor their assets in space. This enables satellite operators to obtain greater quantities of data, eliminate outages between data downlinks, and significantly reduce operators’ costs. The aim is similar to that of the telecoms industry -- to better connect and provide communications services to multiple users simultaneously at competitive prices.
Sam Avery, co-founder and Head of Spacecraft Integration at Audacy said: “Clyde Space’s wealth of experience with small satellites and strong engineering support are a huge help as Audacy develops its pioneering communications terminal demonstration mission.”
Clyde Space is providing the spacecraft bus solution and custom on-site training for a mission demonstrating Audacy’s customer satellite terminal, which includes K-band antennas and a software-defined radio (SDR). The initial phase of the principal Audacy mission will consist of three medium Earth orbit (MEO) relay satellites due to launch in 2019 combined with ground stations in California, Singapore, and Europe. These satellites will simultaneously support numerous customer satellites with a range of missions and applications in multiple sectors from agriculture to disaster management. Timely data could help formulate preventative measures around the word aiding those most in need.
Craig said: “Audacy is capitalising on a gap in the space market which will benefit organisations the world over. This is an exciting project and one which is helping to innovate the space industry.”
Audacy was launched in 2015 by a team of Stanford graduates, NASA award winners, and SpaceX veterans. The company has gone from strength to strength with worldwide venture capital backing and a clear vision of revolutionising space communications to benefit humankind.
The Audacy mission is the latest project to recognise Clyde Space’s high-tech CubeSat technology and the far-reaching impact it has had in making satellites more accessible and affordable.
Its success earned it the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation Category earlier this year.
Clyde Space is backed by Scottish investment companies Coralinn LLP and Nevis Capital.