Smallspark Space Systems has entered into an agreement with Leaf Space, an Italian provider of ground segment services to satellite operators and launchers, to bring ground station services to UK Government and private sector clients.
Smallspark and Leaf Space plan for a partnership that will deliver joint bids for projects with the UK Government and other commercial operators in the UK , with the aim of becoming the primary contractor for services related to supporting the UK governments ambitions with OneWeb, the proposed 650-satellite constellation that will provide worldwide satellite internet and broadband services to people across the globe.
This major proposed collaboration changes the landscape of UK aerospace, with both companies working together to provide UK-based services for OneWeb, including the development of new, low-cost, rapidly deployable ground stations, expansion of ground segment coverage to new geographies as well as operating and maintaining OneWeb’s existing ground station networks.
If successful, the bid will kickstart rapid development across the space value chain, creating new skilled jobs, providing massive opportunities for investment across the sector, with new sites proposed across the country, and exploring the potential of manufacturing opportunities in the UK.
Commenting on this agreement, Joe Ward, CEO of Smallspark Space Systems said, “Working with Leaf Space is an exciting opportunity for both Smallspark and UK Space as a whole; with the UK’s goals of dramatically expanding its reach into space, we’re keen to help support the governments ambitions wherever possible. With both satellite constellations and native launch capabilities, it is essential the UK has reliable, agile ground station services to support applications requiring high bandwidth & low latency communications, driven by adoption of 5G technologies via terrestrial & satellite networks. Italy has always been a pioneer in the global space market, and we’re thrilled to lead the path to strengthen UK-Italy ties.”
Jai Dialani, Sr. Business Developer on behalf of Leaf Space, noted, “Partnership with Smallspark Space Systems is a valuable opportunity for our company to start a collaboration with a pioneering launch service provider. We will provide an immediately available ground segment service capability to broaden their portfolio. This will help potential customers find a complete solution for their missions, assuring a reliable and consistent end-to-end service. Thanks to the continuous work effort to expand and develop our products, customers will be able to find a ground segment solution in the early stages of the mission while choosing Smallspark Space Systems launch solutions, also providing an easier and quicker commissioning phase for their satellites.”
Dialani added, “Leaf Space has been offering tailored ground segment services to its customers, including Launch and Early Operations (LEOPS), daily passes, pass distribution and operational conditions, resulting in a perfect solution for in-orbit demonstrations (IOD) or other missions such as serving broadband constellations requiring high contact time and low latency, typical elements of our distributed ground station network.”, added Jai, “ The proprietary ground segment infrastructure provides redundancy and reliability during the LEOP mission phase, and the versatile service can be easily integrated into third-party service bundles. The two companies are planning to conduct integration and testing activities that will ensure the ground segment service provision is operational on a rapid schedule before OneWebs’ satellite launches.”