Open Cosmos partners with Addvalue to offer cubesat customers real-time comms

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LOGAN, Utah — Open Cosmos, a British startup that builds and operates cubesats for customers, announced an agreement Aug. 8 with Singapore-based Addvalue Innovation, to offer customers communications through Addvalue’s Inter-Satellite Data Relay System (IDRS).

“It will bring near real-time communications to our satellites using the Inmarsat backbone,” said Rafel Jordá Siquier, Open Cosmos chief executive. The new service will be particularly useful for Internet of Things and remote sensing customers, Siquier told SpaceNews at the Small Satellite Conference here.

For the first time, operators of small satellites in low Earth orbit will have real-time communications using Inmarsat’s space network and BGAN ground network, said Tristan Laurent, Open Cosmos market development head.

Open Cosmos launched its first qbee satellite in 2017, after moving from design to delivery in six months, Siquier said. Now, the company is developing satellites for the European Space Agency, the United Kingdom government and telecommunications providers, Laurent said.

“This partnership to provide an IDRS terminal tailored to the qbee satellite platform as an add-on function will enable us to shorten our turnaround time to deploy the IDRS service when real-time connectivity is required by Open Cosmo customers,” Colin Chan, Addvalue chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Open Cosmos customers will begin using the network to rapidly commission their spacecraft in orbit, Laurent said. “We can reduce the typical one-month commissioning down to a few days,” he added.

As a result of the partnership with Addvalue, Open Cosmos will offer customers a data burst service.

“At any time, we can download a massive amount of data, without waiting for the satellite to pass over a ground station,” Laurent said. “This will be useful for remote sensing constellations to downlink an image for further processing on the ground.”

Addvalue Innovation Pte, a subsidiary of Addvalue Technologies Ltd, is a digital, wireless and broadband communications company.