Sky and Space Global (SAS), whose core business is to operate a communications infrastructure based on nanosatellite technology, has been awarded an EU R&D grant for approximately $355,000 to initiate a project studying machine-to-machine (M2M) device innovation.
In line with the SAS business strategy, the project will focus on rural locations in Africa and South America and working with operators on improving network capabilities in these remote geographies where conventional connectivity services are limited and very costly.
The company describes its vision as “to provide affordable communication coverage and services to anyone, anywhere, anytime with relatively low maintenance costs”.
The company will use the funds for the creation of a research and development centre in Poland, and for the purchase of equipment to initiate a full-scale industrial research project into innovation involving M2M devices and smart grids via the SAS nanosatellite constellation.
The project will be established in collaboration with the Faculty of Electronics at the Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland.
Nanosatellites are fully operational satellites with a mass of less than 10kg. The SAS constellation of nanosatellites (approximately 200 when completed), placed in carefully selected orbits giving equatorial coverage of the Earth, will create a global communication network for voice, data and instant messaging.
Due to miniaturization of technology, nanosatellites are capable of providing accurate altitude and orbit control and communication services. Since the first nanosatellite launch in 2003 they have become popular for diverse commercial uses. Their low mass and high capabilities make them affordable building blocks for constellations.
Following the successful launch of its first three satellites (known as ‘the 3 Diamonds’) in 2017, SAS plans to launch 200 more by 2020, providing equatorial coverage and beyond. The SAS network is a narrowband communication network suitable for IoT, M2M, personal voice and messaging.