Through this contract, Spire will gain access to Kepler’s Ku-band technology, enabling the company to provide additional value to space services customers. The agreement will see Spire install Kepler’s Ku-band payload on three initial satellites, with the option to scale as many as 50 satellites.
Kepler’s Ku-Band Service is a fully connected offering that combines the company’s software defined radio (SDR) technology and ground infrastructure to provide an end-to-end data transmission service. Kepler’s SDR payload has proven heritage, having successfully flown on 19 satellites over the past four years, and used continually to deliver data to users around the globe. Using this technology, Kepler has delivered an information rate of 300+ Mbps from LEO on a 3.4 meter dish and 240 Mbps on a Kymeta flat panel antenna. Kepler is currently developing an upgraded path that would support 2.5 Gbps.
Flown as a hosted payload, Kepler’s Ku-Band Service enables high-capacity data transmission services to satellite operators, such as Spire, by combining all required components into one solution. The physical Ku-Band payload, the data transmissions service using Kepler’s spectrum licenses, and the terrestrial ground infrastructure, all combine to create a solution that allows the operator to focus on their mission and leverage Kepler’s demonstrated expertise for data communication requirements.
The first Spire Satellites with Ku-Band Service will launch in early 2023, with Kepler anticipating additional demand for the solution following the introduction of the offering in March. Coupled with Kepler’s ground infrastructure, the comprehensive solution will allow customers to deliver quantities of data beyond that previously possible.
“Kepler is building a novel solution for ramping up data speed with their technology,” said Joel Spark, vice president of space services for Spire. “This collaboration is a step-forward in building the internet in space. We look forward to leveraging the Kepler network to accelerate the data download capacity and bring the most technologically enhanced capabilities to our space services customers.”
“We are excited to offer a high-data rate solution, giving our customers the ability to deliver significantly larger quantities of data from their on-orbit assets,” said Diane Burchett, vice president of engineering for Kepler. “Spire Global is well positioned to be the lead client of the service, and we see a great deal of synergy between our offerings and the value Spire is creating for their customers.”