Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) has commissioned a smallsat from manufacturer Tyvak International SRL, a subsidiary of Terran Orbital Corporation, a provider of nanosatellite and microsatellite (smallsat) vehicles and services.
Eutelsat LEO for Objects (ELO) will be used to assess the performance of LEO satellites in providing narrowband connectivity for objects. The satellite operator will be drawing on the technology of Sigfox, which runs a unique global narrowband network dedicated to IoT.
LEO is particularly well-suited to narrowband connectivity for objects, offering a satellite link anywhere in the world and is complementary to terrestrial IoT networks and does not impact the cost or the energy consumption of the objects. ELO, scheduled for launch in 2019, will backhaul information from objects located in areas that are not served by terrestrial networks and offer redundancy on existing terrestrial network coverage.
Sigfox will work with Eutelsat on two aspects: analyze the spectrum used by the satellite in ISM1 frequency bands; and process data from objects. ELO will also test connectivity in other frequency bands. The synergies developed through the partnership with Sigfox, as well as with other strategic alliances in the telecom industry, should open up new opportunities for Eutelsat in this fast-growing market.
Located on a sun-synchronous orbit between 500 and 600 km in altitude, the satellite will collect data from connected objects across the globe equipped with the same omni-directional antennas already used by terrestrial IoT networks. Data will then be transmitted daily to a ground station located on Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.
Jean-Hubert Lenotte, Chief Strategy Officer at Eutelsat, commented that with the expansion of the Internet of Things, new services are being developed in a wide range of sectors including smart cities, the mining industry, agriculture and logistics. Eutelsat is delighted to be exploring new avenues through the development of this nanosatellite. By analyzing the compatibility of LEO and connected objects, and working with recognized partners in the field, Eutelsat aims to provide an innovative solution which will meet the needs of future clients.
1Industrial, Scientific and Medical