10 February 2022

Kinéis, Loft Orbital and Ternwaves launch the RF Space Lab, an orbiting software-radio laboratory to accelerate access to Space

Kinéis, a satellite-based IoT operator, along with Loft Orbital, a provider of in-orbit services, and Ternwaves, a provider of massive IoT connectivity technology, are developing a flexible and reconfigurable orbiting radio-frequency laboratory. The RF Space Lab will facilitate access to space by accelerating the validation of space software under real conditions without massive prior investment in a dedicated satellite. The RF Space Lab will be placed in orbit this year to test new communication technologies that could ultimately enhance the capabilities of Kinéis’ satellite IoT connectivity. This ambitious project is made possible thanks to the national space plan set up jointly with the Occitanie Region.

 

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With seven satellites already in orbit and 25 more to be launched in 18 months, Kinéis is democratizing a very low-power radio-frequency technology that has been proven for over 40 years. The RF Space Lab will enable it to go even further by testing new frequency bands and innovative radio-frequency modulations under real conditions. This new technology heralds an even more reliable Internet of Things for applications as diverse as connected agriculture, transport and logistics, networks and infrastructure, and environmental protection.

In this context, Loft Orbital offers rapid access to space by providing shared satellite platforms, which it will be launching and operating in orbit, equipped with all the instruments, software and antennas required for testing. Antoine de Chassy, President of Loft Orbital, explains: “The RF Space Lab is an important step taken by Loft Orbital to democratize access to space. This orbiting radio-frequency laboratory will allow the testing, for any radio frequency application, of its modulations, signal processing algorithms or other aspects on board our satellites. We are expecting this first collaboration with Kinéis and Ternwaves to be very fruitful”. After launching their first two satellites last June with a dozen or so customer payloads on board, Loft Orbital has recently purchased around 15 platforms from Airbus OneWeb Satellites to further develop its space infrastructure services.

Antoine de Chassy, Loft Orbital President

 

“With the RF Space Lab, Kinéis will no longer be contingent on the operational deployment schedule and will gain great flexibility in its innovation process,” explains Alexandre Tisserant, Kinéis CEO. “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 future on the in-orbit infrastructure and increase the technological advantage of Kinéis. It is a great pleasure to work with Loft Orbital and Ternwaves in a spirit of mutual trust and with an agile approach”.


Alexandre Tisserant, Kinéis CEO

 

As a key player in the project, Ternwaves is providing new IoT connectivity technology for satellite networks, enabling an unparalleled link budget and throughput with extremely low power consumption. “By bringing its IoT connectivity technology, called Golden Modulation, to the RF Space Lab, Ternwaves will be able to demonstrate, in flight on an LEO satellite, the superiority of this technology for the global satellite IoT market and the unprecedented growth opportunities it opens up,” explains Julie Duclercq, Ternwaves CEO.


Julie Duclercq, Ternwaves CEO

 

 

New entrants to the satellite radio-frequency market face a major problem, that of testing their equipment in orbit. This validation under the unique conditions of space usually requires a considerable investment to develop, launch and operate a dedicated satellite. However, this stage is decisive in confirming the expected performance of a given technology and proving that it is worthwhile investing in it. The RF Space Lab makes it possible to simplify, share and accelerate this crucial stage. The RF Space Lab is being developed within the framework of Section D of the national space plan constructed jointly with the Occitanie Region, which is financing the project as part of its regional policy of support to aerospace and its exceptional plan Ader 4 for stimulating innovation.

 

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