This groundbreaking communications satellite is part of a space-as-a-service contract under which AAC Clyde Space designs, manufactures, launches, and operates the satellite on behalf of NSLComm. The mission is set to revolutionize the space communications network with the introduction of an innovative, high-performance, deployable antenna and sub-reflector system. The satellite is intended to be the first in a future constellation of about 80 satellites.
NSLSat-1 is due to be launched June 2019 on a Soyuz launch vehicle from Vostochny Cosmodrome, in far eastern Russia. This delivery is a key milestone for the company and the NSLSat-1 mission represents a full end-to-end mission service package, from spacecraft design to data supply to NSLComm.
This advanced 6U cubesat will demonstrate highly disruptive technology providing Ka-band communications from LEO. It is equipped with an innovative parabolic antenna which will be deployed once the satellite is on orbit, enabling a wide array of new applications and affordable space based, high-speed data transfer with expected data rates of up to 3 Gbps.
The satellite's antenna and sub-reflector payload has in-built smart technology capable of changing the ground pattern of the antenna beam depending on the area of interest at the time. This versatility of operation enables the concentration of the data to specific locations on the ground, achieving what are likely to be record breaking data rates.
NSLComm develops satellite technology that enables high-speed data transfer for government, commercial, and private applications. The long-term vision for NSLComm is to provide a worldwide communications network via an orbiting constellation of about 80 spacecraft providing global coverage data and media applications.
Dr. Raz Itzhaki, CEO of NSLComm, said that NSLSat-1 was conceived four years ago. It is going to provide an unprecedented throughput of above 1Gbps which is 100 times more throughput than similar satellites capabilities. The successful cooperation with Clyde Space is a stepping stone to an envisioned communication constellation.
Craig Clark, Chief Strategy Officer at Clyde Space, added that this mission is pushing the boundaries of data rate capability from very small satellites, proving a performance level that will make traditional telecom companies take notice.