SEPTEMBER 2018 –
Leaf Space and Astrocast announced an agreement for Astrocast’s use of Leaf Space ground stations. The agreement calls for up to 12 antennas to support the Astrocast IoT network, a 64-unit nanosatellite constellation, which is scheduled to be launched in phases. The antennas included in the agreement will be built and operated by Leaf Space and will be strategically located across six locations, providing dedicated service solely to Astrocast and its worldwide customers.
This new ground segment solution, named Leaf Key, has been developed by Leaf Space to address high capacity and high efficiency missions, as Astrocast’s constellation. The Leaf Space agreement provides Astrocast with the use of additional antennas each time the Swiss-based IoT provider launches a new plane of satellites. The roll-out of Leaf Space antennas will align with the constellation deployment phases.
The Astrocast IoT and machine-to-machine communications network will provide cost effective services to customers spanning key global industries worldwide. Coverage will span 90 percent of the globe not currently serviced by existing cellular systems. The constellation will consist of eight orbital planes, each encompassing eight operational spacecrafts along with two spare satellites. Astrocast is going to launch the first two demonstration satellites in Q4 2018 and has already booked the launch for the first two orbital planes for Q3 and Q4 2019, each encompassing eight operational spacecrafts along with two spare satellites. Leaf Space will provide the ground segment service for the entire constellation, through a multi- year agreement.
“We worked really close with the Astrocast team to develop a service able to reduce the ground segment to a predictable recurring cost even for such a big constellation,” said Giovanni Pandolfi Bortoletto, co- founder and CTO of Leaf Space. “Leaf Key is a flexible and scalable system that follows step by step the constellation deployment, providing the right performance at the right time.”
“We are pleased to engage Leaf Space for ground communication services,” said Fabien Jordan, co- founder and CEO of Astrocast. “With the ability to develop and operate dedicated antennas, and to scale alongside our network, Leaf Space is the right partner for us.”
“There are numerous businesses operating remotely which simply don’t have access to key IoT capabilities because those services don’t currently exist in those regions,” added Jordan. “The Astrocast network will be a game changer for these enterprises and Leaf Space’s ground station capabilities will be a key component of our solution.”
“This is the first time a single ground segment provider has been awarded to support a full-deployment nanosat constellation,” said Jonata Puglia, co-founder and CEO of Leaf Space. “It’s exciting to see space
startups like ours working closely together to achieve their goals. This is a clear sign that the smallsat market is consolidating and entering its mature stage.”