On January 3rd, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, Loft Orbital’s satellite, YAM-5 was launched on board of SpaceX Falcon 9 and successfully reached its final orbit. This shared satellite is hosting an “RF Space Lab”, a unique, flexible and reconfigurable radio-frequency payload solution designed by Loft Orbital for Kinéis. With this satellite, Kinéis reinforces its position as the leading satellite based IoT operator, paving the way for the future of connectivity by satellite.
This innovative payload, the RF Space Lab, is facilitating access to space by accelerating the in-orbit validation of space software and innovative modulations under operational conditions without massive prior investment in a dedicated satellite.
ORBITAL RADIO-FREQUENCY TEST BED DEPLOYED IN LESS THAN A YEAR
This ambitious mission, gathering the two space companies of the French Tech Next 40, has been designed and launched under a record lead time of less than a year. This was made possible thanks to the national space plan (“Plan de relance spatial”) set up jointly by CNES and the Occitanie Region.
Organizations relying on orbital infrastructure for any type of applications (connectivity, earth observation, computing technologies) face the major problem of getting an affordable and fast access to a space infrastructure to test and validate their technology in-orbit, and then, deploy at scale. This validation, which is decisive in confirming the expected performance of their development, usually requires a considerable investment in engineering and programmatic efforts, time and money to develop, launch and operate a dedicated satellite. In this context, Loft Orbital provides a unique offer for a rapid and reliable access to space and a highly reconfigurable service on board of its shared satellite platforms, allowing to simplify and accelerate this validation step. Such a mission gives a competitive advantage to French Tech company Kinéis.
The RF Space Lab, designed, integrated and launched in less than a year, is an important step taken by Loft Orbital to democratize access to orbital asset (onboard computers, antenna systems, cameras…), advancing towards its vision of providing space infrastructure as a service.
AN EMERGING LEADER IN IOT CONNECTIVITY
With 9 satellites already in orbit and 25 more to be launched within 18 months, Kinéis is democratizing a very low-power, low-cost and easy-to-use radio-frequency connectivity technology that has been proven for over 40 years. The RF Space Lab enables Kinéis to go even further by testing new frequency bands and innovative radio-frequency modulations, such as the one from Ternwaves, opening unprecedented growth opportunities for connectivity players. This will typically allow the development of an even more reliable Internet of Things for applications as diverse as connected agriculture, transport and logistics, networks and infrastructure monitoring, and environmental protection.
“With the RF Space Lab, Kinéis is gaining increased flexibility in its innovation process to best prepare the future,” explains Alexandre Tisserant, CEO of Kinéis. “To be able to run experiments in orbit less than a year after the project was set up is an achievement in itself. If the results are very conclusive, the protocols tested could be implemented in the near future on our in-orbit infrastructure and increase the technological advantage of Kinéis. It is a great pleasure to work with Loft Orbital in a spirit of mutual trust and with an agile approach”.